Living Well With Sciatica
Many people find that having sciatica is a pain in the butt literally and figuratively. It can stop you from doing everything you want to do, and that often limits activity and can lead to being more sedentarya ripple effect that can have negative impacts on all aspects of your health. If youre experiencing even minor symptoms, get checked by your doctor, suggests Dr. Abitbol.
The longer it goes on, the more difficult it is to treat, so there is no point in waiting to see if it gets better even though your symptoms are worsening, he says, adding that if youve gone for six months or longer, and your symptoms are getting worse, even surgery may not be as gratifying as it could have been at an earlier point. Dr. Abitbol suggests that to prevent issues related to prolonged compression, address the problem as soon as you can.
What Kind Of Doctor Should I See To Heal Sciatic Nerve
four broken ribs and a split bleeding spleen i still have pain on my whole left side still hurts and now my sciatic nerves are hurting i tried chiropractic it got worse do not use aggressive of any kind water therapy is helping the most
besides operation what else i have to do for saiatica
Heat therapy helps, as well as massage therapy. Make sure you also rest and avoid activities that could trigger more back pain.
Beginners yoga and Pilates are gentle exercises that can help.
If you feel pain doing anything – stop the activity and take a break.
I cannot stress highly enough that all chiropractors are NOT the same . As a chiropractor, there are several ways to conservatively treat sciatica, however, the treatment must be based on what the cause is, and there are multiple causes of sciatica.
Sciatica as a diagnosis only describes pain going down the leg, therefore further investigation by examination and possibly diagnostic testing may be necessary. I have an article on my website about sciatica here Dr. T on Sciatica.
In cases where the sciatica is severe, I will usually co-treat with an MD, so medication and chiropractic care is used at the same time to control the symptoms.
I have many things on my website in the health topics section on chiropractic and chiropractors that you may not see on another chiropractic website, as my take on subluxation is the modern version of it. http://www.DrTChiro.com
I hope that helps,
How Do You Know If It Is Sciatica
The key to diagnosing sciatica is a thorough history and a focused exam. Unfortunately, many patients expect an x-ray or MRI, and doctors, often facing time constraints, order one even though we know imaging tests dont really help us treat early sciatica any better. The Sciatica symptoms are often worse with sitting or coughing and may be accompanied by numbness or tingling in the leg. A physical exam can confirm that the sciatic nerve is involved, and I look for weakness or diminished reflexes in the legs that suggest that someone needs early referral to a specialist. With this information, I can make an initial diagnosis and start treatment.
How Is Sciatica Affecting Your Quality Of Life
Sciatica pain may extend all the way from the lower back, through the back of your thigh, to your foot. The pain can come and go, sometimes lingering for days and even weeks. This may cause anything from mild discomfort to making the simplest tasks intolerable. Sitting could be painful with sciatica and driving even more so. Not to mention playing sports and being active.
As you contemplate surgery for sciatica, consider how much the pain affects your quality of life. If your work, hobbies, social life or relationships suffer from your being in constant pain, it may be time to think about surgery.
Although sciatica starts as nerve inflammation, it may eventually progress to nerve damage. If the sciatic nerve is damaged, it could result in numbness, tingling and, in more severe cases, weakness in the knees or legs. The longer it is left untreated, the longer it will take for numbness and weakness to go away, and they may become permanent.
What Doctor To See For Sciatica
Sciatica is the term used to describe pain caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. This nerve, located in your lower back, is formed by a bundling of nerves that emerge from the lower lumbar region of the spine.
The sciatic nerve is the major neural pathway between your brain and your legs and feet. If the sciatic nerve is pinched or irritated, the pain can radiate down the nerve and cause pain or tingling in your legs.
It may be hard to determine what doctor should treat your sciatica since the pain is felt in various locations. Taking a closer look at the causes of sciatica pain can help us determine the appropriate specialist to treat it.
Write Down Your Symptom History To Save Time During The Appointment
Your doctor is going to ask you several questions about your symptom history, so writing it down in advance will save time during your appointment and ensure you dont leave out any important information. When you have a well-maintained pain diary, you will likely provide more precise and complete information, and avoid missing important symptoms or factors that can be crucial in your diagnosis.
Symptom-related questions your doctor is likely to ask you:
- How would you describe your symptomsis the pain throbbing, searing, electric-like, or dull and localized?
- Do your symptoms extend below the knee?
- How long have you had these symptoms?
- Are they getting worse or staying the same?
- What causes a flareup in your symptoms
- Do you have neurological symptoms, such as difficulty in lifting your foot , numbness, or weakness?
- Does a specific position offer temporary relief or aggravate the pain further? For example, does bending forward make your symptoms better or worse ?
Maintaining a pain diary can be helpful when you have sciatica. The diary doesnt have to be an actual bookuse the notes app on your phone so that you can have the information accessible at all times. Make a note every time you experience a symptom of sciaticawrite down the type, severity, and duration of the symptom.
Ask About Specific Red
While rare, certain types of sciatic nerve pain may indicate a medical emergency and require immediate treatment. Ask your doctor if there are specific red-flag symptoms that you need to look out for. Understanding these symptoms can help you make a timely visit to the doctor and prevent serious complications.
As a general rule, if you have worsening neurological signs and symptoms, if neurological deficits occur in both legs, if you have bladder or bowel incontinence, or if symptoms occur after an accident or trauma, you should seek immediate medical attention. These signs and symptoms may indicate serious medical conditions such as cauda equina syndrome, which must be treated on an urgent basis to preserve leg function.
Understand The Medical Vocabulary In Advance
Sciatica is a lay term that describes a set of symptoms that originate in your lower back and travel down your sciatic nerve. There are specific terms associated with sciatica and learning the vocabulary ahead of time can help you save time and avoid confusion during your consultation.
Commonly used medical terms are:
- Nerve root. Several spinal nerves branch off your spinal cord at different levels. A nerve root is the part of the spinal nerve that leaves the spinal cord, passes through a bony opening, and exits the spinal canal.
Read more about Sciatica Causes
Why You Should Avoid Back Surgery
One of the primary reasons why back surgery should be avoided is the risk. All surgeries carry the risk of infection, excessive bleeding, and nerve injury. Not to mention many people dont like being put under general anesthesia or that they may have to use potentially addictive pills to manage the pain after surgery.29 2020 .
Should I Go To An Orthopedic Doctor For Back Pain
But if the pain is severe, ongoing, or accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, it may be time to see a back doctor. Start with someone who specializes in nonsurgical treatment for back pain. This can include a physiatrist, chiropractor, or orthopaedic physician assistant.
How Do I Know If I Have Sciatica Or Piriformis Syndrome
Both sciatica and piriformis syndrome cause sciatic nerve pain and have similar symptoms, the causes of the conditions are different.
Piriformis syndrome is caused by anatomic changes in the piriformis muscle. The muscle is located across the femur and outer section of the hips and rotates the hip. The syndrome causes buttock pain or spasms and can irritate and compress the sciatic nerve, leading to sciatic pain. Unlike sciatica, the pain begins in the buttocks, not the lower back.
On the other hand, sciatica is not a syndrome or condition. Its a variety of symptomsnamely, the sharp pain radiating down one leg, weak legs, lower back pain, and a tingling sensation in the legs and feetcaused by other medical conditions and affects the lower spinal nerves.
When To Consider Sciatica Surgery
Sciatica pain is no joke. Originating in your lower back, it can radiate down your hips, buttocks, legs, and even into your feet. Its estimated that about 40 percent of people will experience sciatica over the course of their lives, and for some, it can be quite debilitating. Though most cases will resolve over time, persistent or severe sciatica often requires some type of medical intervention. But how do you know if your sciatica is significant enough to warrant surgery? Here, well discuss some important signs you should consider saying yes to surgery.
Straight Leg Raise Test
The straight leg raise test determines the source of your pain. The test stretches the sciatic nerve and, if its compressed, the symptoms will occur.
- Lie flat on your back with your legs extended.
- Flex your foot and lift your leg 30 to 70 degrees upwards, keeping your leg straight.
- Repeat with the other leg.
If you experience pain down your leg to your foot or are unable to lift your affected leg as much as the other, this is a positive sciatica test result. If no pain occurs, the test is considered negative and any pain youre experiencing may be due to other spinal conditions.
How To Test If You Have Sciatica
Sciatica is a group of distinct symptoms causing intense, sometimes debilitating pain down the sciatic nerve.nearly 40 percent of people experience sciatic pain at some point, and while the pain
Sciatica is a group of distinct symptoms causing intense, sometimes debilitating pain down the sciatic nerve.According to Harvard Health,Verified SourceHarvard HealthBlog run by Harvard Medical School offering in-depth guides to better health and articles on medical breakthroughs.View sourcenearly 40 percent of people experience sciatic pain at some point, and while the pain is severe, the symptoms typically pass on their own.
Sciatica is rather common as its a result of different diseases or conditions pinching the sciatic nerve. With the correct diagnosis, the condition can be treated and the pain will eventually subside.
To diagnose sciatica, doctors complete two physical exams to measure the pressure on your sciatic nerve. We share how you can complete these same tests at home and discuss more what sciatica is. If you believe you have sciatica, speak to your doctor about diagnosis and treatment options.
What Should I Avoid Doing If I Have Sciatica
Avoid putting added pressure onto your lumbar spine and sciatic nerve as much as possible. Activities such as sitting with bad posture, heavy lifting, difficult or strenuous exercise, and sitting or laying down for prolonged periods can aggravate your body.
Be sure not to rest too much when you have sciatica, as your back can weaken and worsen your pain. With this in mind, dont ignore your pain signals or fight through them. Taking a few minutes to sit down and let your pain pass is perfectly okay.
What Doctor To See For Sciatica Pain
In most cases, sciatica is caused by spine issues. Therefore, if your insurance allows it, usually the best doctor to see for sciatica pain is a spine specialist. These include disc herniation, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis and spine injury. Spine doctors are trained in these specific conditions and have the most experience treating them.
If your sciatica is the result of one of the less common piriformis syndrome or a tumor a spine doctor can help diagnose these conditions and refer you to a specialist if necessary.
Women who are pregnant and experiencing sciatica should first discuss their symptoms with their obstetrician. You can then have a conversation with your OB/GYN to determine if you should visit a spine specialist for your pain.
Symptoms To Look Out For
The sciatic nerve starts at the lower back, through the buttocks, and down each leg, and if its pinched, pain occurs in those areas. If you believe you have sciatica, some common symptoms to be aware of include:
- Pain radiating down one or both legs and feet
- Your legs or feet feel weak or numb
- A burning or tingling sensation in your legs and feet
- Pain when standing up or sitting down
- Inability to rest your weight on one leg
- Wobbly knees
Who Is The Best Doctor For Spine Surgery
Many years ago, neurosurgeons were primarily responsible for spine surgery, but in the past 20 to 25 years spine surgery has evolved so that both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons specialize in spine surgery, and for most of the typical spine operations both types of surgeons are equally well qualified.
Bring A Friend To Your Sciatica Appointment
If your sciatic pain is severe, it may be difficult to concentrate. Bringing a friend or family member to your appointment to take notes can allow you to focus on the conversation with your doctor without having to worry about forgetting something later.
A friend can also help you prioritize your discussion topics and ensure you dont forget to talk with your doctor about an important matter.
Your Primary Care Doctor Has Recommended You See A Spine Specialist
If youre like most people, when you first develop a medical concern, you make an appointment with your primary care doctor. And this is a good first step. Your primary care physician can perform a physical exam, order imaging studies, and diagnose and treat sciatica. But if your case is more complex, you may be referred to a spine surgeon. Keep in mind, seeing a surgeon doesnt mean you will definitely require surgery. Its just the next step in the process of finding the best treatment plan for you.
Is Pain Down The Leg Sciatica
December 14, 2018
If you have pain that begins in your lower back, spreads to one side, and then shoots down one buttock ultimately traveling down the back of your leg you may be experiencing sciatica.
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in your body, is compressed. This usually happens by a direct traumatic injury , a medical condition , or a spinal condition .
Sciatic Nerve Irritation Causes Pain That Radiates Down The Leg From The Low Back Or Buttocks
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Sciatica is pain that is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body. As your pelvis widens to make room for the baby, your sciatic nerve on one or both sides of your body can become. The good news is there are several natural treatments you can incorporate. Sciatic nerve irritation causes pain that radiates down the leg from the low back or buttocks. I am not hoping for a cure but more looking for what treatment or meds would help me more and what is causing it.
Get Sciatica Treatment Today With Aica Orthopedic
In some cases, sciatica pain can go away on its own, with time and proper self-care practices. However, for the best results and to ensure that sciatica is treated correctly, you will want to visit a healthcare professional. AICA Orthopedics has a variety of healthcare specialists that can provide expert care to any individual seeking relief from sciatica. Along with proper self-care practices, our doctors may recommend physical therapy, chiropractic care, surgery, or non-surgical injections depending on the severity of your sciatica.When you work with AICA Orthopedics, youll have access to multiple doctors across different medical fields to help with sciatica symptom relief.
Chiropractic specialists help to realign the spine and body to its natural state which will improve its ability to heal itself, rather than having to use invasive or medication-based treatment. Treatment for sciatica may involve multiple specialists, but chiropractic is a great place to start for finding relief from sciatica symptoms. With sciatic nerve compression, chiropractic will help to reduce or eliminate that pressure, making chiropractic an effective form of treatment.
Neurology specialists are experts at understanding and navigating treatments for the nervous system. Sciatica is a nerve-related condition, making a neurologist a go-to specialist to visit when getting to the root of sciatica symptoms.
Bring Your List Of Medications And Previous Medical Records
Provide an accurate history of your medical and surgical treatments and bring all your test results or relevant documents that you may have received from previous doctors. These details are crucial in deciding your course of treatment and also saves the time and effort to conduct new tests.
Consulting a doctor will provide you with a greater benefit if youre well prepared. With these tips, you can more actively participate in the diagnostic and treatment process and are more likely to find healing and pain relief.
Can An Orthopedic Doctor Treat Sciatica
Orthopedic. For a small percentage of sciatica cases, orthopedic surgery may be the best option available for relief, such as a discectomy or laminectomy, both of which removes the source of the pain of sciatica, from herniated discs to bone spurs to other tissues creating pressure against the nerves.
Taming The Pain Of Sciatica: For Most People Time Heals And Less Is More
Despite being a less common cause of low back pain, sciatica is still something I regularly see as a general internist. Primary care doctors can and should manage sciatica, because for most individuals the body can fix the problem. My job is to help manage the pain while the body does its job. When a persons symptoms dont improve, I discuss the role of surgery or an injection to speed things up.
Prevention Is Better Than Treatment
One can decrease the risk of sciatica by making specific changes to lifestyle. In most people sciatica occurs due to the failure of lower back muscles to tackle the stress. Regular exercises to strengthen the lower back and abdomen may help to prevent sciatica.
Quite often sciatica happens after lifting something heavy, and the main reason is the use of the wrong posture while performing physical activities. Maintaining proper position while sitting, lying, and doing physical activities may help to prevent sciatica.
Finally, learn the right way to lift bulky items, without putting undue stress on your lower back. Try to raise the things with back straight, and instead bend the knees. Most importantly avoid lifting and twisting at the same time.
Natural Ways To Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain
March 9, 2018
Ever wake up feeling agonizing pain all the way from your upper thighs to your feet? Do you deal with nagging lower back pain that spreads downward through your buttock and wont seem to quit no matter what you try? You could be dealing with sciatic nerve pain, also called sciatica, which causes painful throbbing in the lower back and limbs. The pain radiates down the body and can be a symptom of spinal stenosis. Its also closely related to piriformis syndrome since the piriformis muscle is near the sciatic nerve.
The problem all starts in the lower spine and can come and go, but one things usually certain when sciatic nerve pain rears its ugly head, youre dealing with a whole lot of discomfort that can quickly ruin your day. Given that the sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body, this makes sense.
The good news is there are remedies for back pain that treat sciatic nerve pain and improve spine health. What are these natural sciatica treatments, and what causes this debilitating lower-body pain? Lets investigate.
Sciatica Treatment At Home
Many cases of sciatica will resolve in a few days. If you experience sciatica symptoms, you can:
Rest: Decreasing your activity can help minimize additional irritation of the sciatic nerve and give the area time to heal. Bedrest, however, is not recommended. Its best to get up and move around gently. Avoid any movements that lead to increased pain.
Stretch: Stretching exercises of the low back can help relieve nerve compression. Avoid twisting the back. Aim for slow, gradual stretches.
Use cold packs: Applying an ice pack to the irritated area can provide some relief. You can ice the area for 20 minutes at a time, a few times per day. Cold therapy is most helpful soon after symptoms begin.
Apply heat: If your symptoms have persisted for more than two or three days, try heat instead of cold. Use a heating pad or hot packs.
Take anti-inflammatory medication: Ibuprofen and naproxen are over-the-counter medicines that relieve pain and decrease inflammation.
Who Should I Go To For My Sciatica
Sciatica is not a disease or a diagnosis. It is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. The term is used to describe nerve pain, tingling, numbness and weakness that travels from the lower back, across the buttocks, down the back of the thighs to the calves and feet.
It occurs when the sciatic nerve the longest in the body gets compacted or aggravated. Common conditions that cause sciatica include herniated lumbar discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and spondylolisthesis.
Sciatica pain can vary from periodic and mildly inconvenient to constant and incapacitating. Symptoms depend on the location of the nerve impingement or irritation and may include:
- Symptoms intensify during sudden movements or changing positions
- Constant pain in one side of the buttock or leg
- Sharp pain in one leg making it difficult to stand up or walk
- Pain originates in the lower back or buttock and continues along the path of the sciatic nerve
- Pain lessens when lying down or walking but increases when standing or sitting
- Pain is burning, tingling, or searing
- Pain radiates down the leg and possibly into the foot and toes
- Lower back pain is not as severe as leg pain
- A pins-and-needles or prickling sensation, numbness or weakness down the leg
Sciatica is rare among young people. It tends to start appearing in middle age, between the ages of 40 to 50.