When Its Your Future At Stake
One possible, and serious, long-term effect of an injury is inability to return to work full-time, putting the injured person under increased stress about their future and the future of their family. If you are unable to work full-time in the future, as a consequence of your injury, you may be eligible for long-term disability benefits through your employer, the Canada Pension Plan , or your own insurance company.
Testing For Piriformis Syndrome
Because piriformis syndrome symptoms mimic those of sciatica, your medical provider will perform specific tests to determine whether your symptoms are discogenic or caused by an impingement of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle.
Your provider should examine your low back, hip, pelvis and sacroiliac joint and check your gait, posture and leg length. Theyll also test your reflexes, which should be normal if you have piriformis syndrome.
Your provider will manipulate your leg to check for piriformis syndrome.
Other signs of piriformis syndrome include:
When testing for pain or weakness in specific positions, your provider will conduct each test until you experience symptoms or for up to 60 seconds, whichever comes first.
In addition to a physical exam, you might also need imaging to rule out other causes for your symptoms. Your doctor may order X-rays, an MRI, or a CT scan. In addition, injections into the piriformis muscle may be used to confirm the diagnosis, while simultaneously helping with treatment.
Once you pin down the source of your pain, you can move forward with treatment, which typically consists of NSAIDs and physical therapy. Although you might be inclined to rest, wait, and see what happens, the sooner you find the root of your issues, the sooner you can get back to pain-free living.
Piriformis syndrome or sciatica? Get a proper diagnosis find a spine specialist near you who can help.
Do You Know What Causes Your Sciatica
Sciatica may have a variety of causes, each of them requiring a slightly different treatment. Whether or not surgery would get rid of your sciatica will depend on why the sciatic nerve is inflamed in the first place. Possible reasons may include:
Although most of these causes can be addressed with surgery, it is rarely the first line of treatment. The type of surgery would depend on the problem.
In addition, sciatica-like pain may result from irritation of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle in the buttock. This condition is called piriformis syndrome and rarely requires surgery.
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Pearls And Other Issues
Clinicians should always look for and inquire about red flags when evaluating sciatica or in patients who present with any low back pain. Simple sciatica is a benign disease, and the presence of red flags would prompt much more consideration of the differential diagnosis to ensure a more serious underlying medical or surgical cause of the back pain is not present. A history of IV drug abuse is a risk for epidural abscess and seeding of bacteria anywhere in the body . Additionally, those with HIV, diabetes, or who are immunocompromised have a much higher risk of all infections, and epidural abscess must be considered. Any history of bowel or bladder incontinence, urinary retention, or lower extremity weakness suggests acute neurologic deficit and should prompt a more aggressive workup. Anticoagulant use is a risk for all sources of bleeding, including epidural abscess. A history of trauma, malignancy, or tuberculosis may suggest fracture, metastasis, and more serious causes of the back pain should be ruled out before a simple diagnosis of sciatica is used. And lastly, fevers, night sweats, chills would not be typical symptoms seen in simple sciatica and thus should prompt further consideration in the workup.
How To Help It:
Hip arthritis can be helped somewhat with strengthening and mobility exercises in the hips, depending on how bad the wear to the joint is. If it is a really degenerated joint, you may need surgery like a total hip replacement.
You can try some of the exercises below if you think you may have hip arthritis, but stop if they become painful:
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What Is Sciatica Pain
Sowhat exactly is sciatica pain, and why is it so prevalent?
The sciatic nerve is important for a healthy, functioning body. This nerve branch from your lower back extends down through your hips and buttocks, and down your legs. When this nerve becomes pinched or compressed, it can shoot pain from your lower back all the way down your legs. Sciatic nerve pain can feel achy or sharp, and sometimes like an electric shock.
Hip Pain And What Might Be Causing It
Hip pain is often much less serious than sciatica, as its not caused by nerve damage. Hip pain refers to any pain or irritation you may be feeling in the outside of your hips, upper thighs, your hip joint, or buttocks. This pain is often caused by damage to the muscles, ligaments, or tendons. It is a pain that radiates from the soft tissue instead of from the nerve.
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Common Slip And Fall Injuries: Bulging Disc Sciatica Miscarriage
Personal injury law includes a type of case referred to as premises liability, a term that describes the responsibility of an owner or operator of a business to keep visitors safe. Injuries from a slip and fall on business property can lead to a premises liability lawsuit. Common slip-and-fall injuries include a bulging disc, sciatica, and miscarriage.
Types of Injuries from a Slip and Fall
A victim can suffer many different types of injuries in a slip and fall, which is also sometimes referred to as a trip and fall. Bone fractures are very common and can be extremely serious. An example of this type of injury occurred in a recent case where The Jeff Brooke Team won a $750,000 settlement: Our client suffered a broken thigh bone and complications that resulted in substantial medical expenses and long-term negative effects.
Each slip-and-fall case is unique, in both the circumstances and the nature of the injuries to the victim. In addition to bone fractures, complicated head injuries also referred to as traumatic brain injury or TBI are not uncommon. The nature of a slip and fall also often results in three other common types of injuries: bulging disc, sciatica, and miscarriage.
Bulging Disc from a Slip and Fall
Sciatica from a Slip and Fall
The sciatic nerve runs from the spinal cord down through the legs. Its extremely important, because it is the nerve that lets you have feeling in and control of your legs. When the nerve becomes irritated, sciatica can result.
How To Deal With Your Sciatica Injury
Whether or not your sciatica injury is covered by workers comp, follow your doctors advice to help ease the pain faster. Sciatica pain can be debilitating and might require you to take time off of work or modify your work duties.
If your sciatica injury is due to a work-related cause, call to schedule an appointment with an experienced workers comp doctor near you.
Dont wait, call 590-4030 today and get on the road to recovery!
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Can A Car Accident Cause Sciatica
After a car accident, you are likely on the lookout for symptoms that indicate an injury. If you notice pain accompanied by muscle weakness or numbness in the lower back, legs, or even feet, sciatica should be on the list of things you are concerned about. The sciatic nerve, which spans from your lower back down the buttocks to your legs and feet, is the largest nerve in the body and any damage can cause pain in one or both sides of the body. While this is often caused by aging or other conditions, it is also a common diagnosis from a car accident chiropractor.
What Are The Symptoms
Classic sciatic pain starts in the low back and buttocks. It affects one leg traveling down the back of the thigh, past the knee, and sometimes into the calf and foot. The pain feels worse in the leg than in the back. It may range from a mild ache to severe burning or a shooting pain. Numbness or tingling can occur in your leg and foot. This usually is not a concern unless you have weakness in your leg muscles or foot drop.
Sitting usually causes the most pain because of the weight this position puts onto the discs. Activities, such as bending or twisting, worsen the pain, whereas lying down tends to bring relief. Running or walking may actually feel better than sitting or standing for too long.
Seek medical help immediately if you have extreme leg weakness, numbness in the genital area, or loss of bladder or bowel function. These are signs of a condition called cauda equina syndrome.
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Is The Weight Of Pregnancy The Reason Why So Many Pregnant Women Get Sciatica
Its true that sciatica is common in pregnancy but increased weight is not the main reason why pregnant women get sciatica. A better explanation is that certain hormones of pregnancy cause a loosening of their ligaments. Ligaments hold the vertebrae together, protect the disks and keep the spine stable. Loosened ligaments can cause the spine to become unstable and might cause disks to slip, which leads to nerves being pinched and the development of sciatica. The babys weight and position can also add pressure to the nerve.
The good news is there are ways to ease sciatic pain during pregnancy, and the pain goes away after birth. Physical therapy and massage therapy, warm showers, heat, medications and other measures can help. If you are pregnant, be sure to follow good posture techniques during pregnancy to also ease your pain.
When To Seek Medical Assistance
If you experience any of the following symptoms for more than a couple weeks after being the victim of a car accident, make an appointment to see your physician to get the appropriate treatment:
- Constant pain in one side of the buttock or leg .
- Burning or tingling pain in the leg, usually worse when sitting.
- Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot.
- Foot dropthe inability to bend the foot upward at the ankle.
- A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or walk.
These symptoms can dramatically affect your everyday life and cause limited mobility. They can cause deterioration in the quality of life, not only for the person with the pain, but also those around them.
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What Tests Do Health Care Professionals Use To Diagnose Sciatica
Sciatica is a clinical diagnosis. In other words, the health care professional will be able to make the diagnosis based on the patient’s medical history, a physical examination, and description of his or her symptoms. If the patient has had sciatica for only a brief time and has no sign of any other diseases, no lab studies or X-ray films may be needed.
- If the pain has not improved after several weeks, CT or MRI scans of the spine may be ordered.
- If the patient has a history of cancer, HIV infection, IV drug use, or has been taking steroids over a period a time, the doctor may want to evaluate plain X-ray films of the back or a bone scan.
- Occasionally, laboratory studies may be helpful. A CBC may suggest infection, anemia due to certain cancers, or other unusual causes of sciatica. Elevated sedimentation rate may suggest inflammation somewhere in the body. Urinalysis can suggest a kidney stone if there is blood in the urine, or infection, if there are bacteria and pus in the urine.
Typical Treatments For Sciatica
If your doctor believes you have sciatica, he or she may order one of the following tests for you:
- X-ray. Electromagnetic energy beams make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
- Magnetic resonance imaging . A large magnet manipulates radiofrequency energy, allowing a computer to make detailed 3D models of the organs and structures in your body. An MRI can help identify broken bones, tears to tendons and ligaments, and other soft tissue injuries.
- Electromyography and nerve conduction study . A procedure done to record and analyze electrical impulses in your muscles. During the EMG, thin needles are placed in your muscle to record electrical activity. The NCS is often done along with the EMG to determine if a nerve is working normally. Electrodes are then placed in various locations on your skin along the nerve pathway. When stimulating the nerve at various places, your healthcare provider can then determine the specific site of your injury.
According to Cleveland Clinic, treatment for sciatica is typically comprised of limited rest on a semi-hard surface, physical therapy, spinal injections, and/or medication to treat pain and inflammation. Surgery is occasionally needed for those with extreme pain or whose condition is progressing or not responding to treatment.
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Sciatica After A Car Accident
One of the ways sciatica can be brought on is by a pinched nerve, which often results from a herniated disc in your spine. These discs are soft, gel-like structures between the vertebrae meant to absorb shock and prevent friction. The impact of trauma like a car accident can cause these discs to be knocked out of place, to rupture, or to damage the surrounding tissue. Any of these outcomes can pinch the sciatic nerve, leading to pain and other symptoms of sciatica.
Back injuries are one of the most common forms of injury resulting from a car accident, and many common back injuries can lead to sciatic pain. Another scenario that may cause this is a broken bone whose fragment gets loose and compresses the sciatic nerve. Even when the initial result of the impact is not this condition, it can occur over time with an untreated back injury.
Sciatica usually appears as a result of degenerative disc disease or aging and loss of mobility, however, car accidents are one instance where no history of back pain or injury is required for a diagnosis. When the impact is great enough, the spine can be damaged enough to bring on sciatic pain where no indicators were present before.
When To Seek Medical Attention For Sciatica
You should, of course, see a doctor immediately if youve been in a car accident. The following suggestions assume that you have already seen a doctor and pain that the doctor said should go away has not gone or you have developed new symptoms.
Minor cases of sciatica can sometimes resolve on their own, but you should always check with a doctor if you experience pain in your back or legs that lasts more than a week or two after an accident or if it develops but wasnt immediately present after the accident occurred.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should contact your doctor to see if medical treatment might be required:
- Burning or tingling in the leg that worsens when you sit
- Difficulty bending your foot upward at the ankle
- Sharp pains that make it difficult to stand up or walk
- Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving your foot or leg
- Constant pain on one side in the buttock and/or leg
If you do have a herniated or broken disk, its important to get the proper treatment as soon as possible. Any delays could make things worse or cause permanent damage.
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Common Sciatica Cause #: Spondylolisthesis
Spondylolisthesis is a disorder that most often affects the lumbar spine. It occurs when one vertebra slips forward over an adjacent vertebra. When the vertebra slips and is displaced, it presses on the nerves or nerve roots below it. This ultimately causes compression and often results in sciatica symptoms.
Youre either born with developmental spondylolisthesis or it develops during childhood. On the other hand, acquired spondylolisthesis can be caused by:
- Parts of the spine breaking down over time
- Physical stress from activities like weightlifting or gymnastics
- Trauma, such as from a car accident
On physical examination, the patient will often complain of increased back pain when arching into extension due to irritation of the facet joints. The diagnosis can often be made with simple plain radiographssuch as an X-raydone in the standing posture, says Dr. Subach.
Bending Over When Lifting Heavy Objects
Whether you are carrying groceries to your kitchen from your car, picking up your child from the bed, or moving flowerpots in your garden, you are placing large amounts of workload on your lumbar discs. When your lumbar discs are overworked, there is an increased risk for developing herniated discs. This, in turn, can compress or irritate the sciatic nerve.
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What Are The Types Of Sciatica
There are two types of sciatica:
The discs between the vertebra can bulge, herniate or sequestrate causing direct pressure on the nerves leaving the spine. Pressure directly onto the spinal cord from within the spine can also compromise the function of the sciatic nerve. Tight muscles through the buttocks and top of the legs can also irritate and put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
In most of these cases the leg pain is worse than the back pain and described as a sharp, burning, shooting pain. It is often associated with a feeling of numbness, pins and needles, hot and cold sensation and muscle weakness.
With neurogenic sciatica there are usually abnormal neurological exam findings such as a loss the normal reflexes, muscle weakness and sensory changes.
In some cases the pain is worse in the back than it is in the leg and doesnt usually have a shooting quality to it. Abnormal neurological findings, such as reflex changes, objective weakness and sensory changes, are unlikely to be present.