Wednesday, August 17, 2022

What Type Of Doctor Should You See For Sciatica Pain

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Pain Management & Orthopedic Surgery Located In Frederick Md & Waldorf Md

Back Pain? Sciatica? When Do You Need To See A Doctor Immediately!

The electric-shock sensation in your lower back that comes when you move certain ways could be the first indication you have sciatica. At Orthopedics & Wellness, Matthew Roh, MD, and Ojedapo Ojeyemi, MD, are both experienced in treating sciatica pain. At their clinics in Frederick, Germantown, and Waldorf, Maryland, they offer several minimally invasive treatments, including epidural steroid injections, to ease pain. Dr. Ojeyemi can also discuss surgical options to treat severe sciatica pain. Call the office nearest you to learn more about treating sciatica or book a consultation online today.

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Finding The Right Specialist To Treat Your Sciatica

Different specialists treat sciatica in different ways depending on the cause of your pain. Chiropractors, physical therapists, physiatrists, and pain management specialists treat sciatic nerve pain non-surgically by manipulating the body and possibly using medications to relax the muscles and reduce inflammation. Orthopedists and neurosurgeons may use non-surgical treatments as well but have the ability to provide surgical treatments. For more than 60 years, Weiss Memorial Hospital has provided personalized and compassionate care to our community. Contact us today to find out how we can help you find relief from your sciatica and live life to the fullest!

Sciatica: Definition Causes Symptoms And Treatment Options

Sciatic pain is one of the most common types of back pain. Its caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve in your lower back, running from the spine to both legs. The symptoms can be debilitating and include not only tingling, numbness, or weakness but also extreme pain when sitting, standing, or walking as well as a burning sensation extending down to the foot.

There are many possible causes for sciatica, including:

  • Injuries such as a low-back sprain
  • Degenerative disc disease, which happens with age due to wear and tear on spinal discs
  • Bone spur growths that make it hard for nerves to pass through bony areas
  • Herniated discs where theres damaged tissue within spinal discs causing discomfort and compression on the nerve

Sciatica can be treated with a combination of medication, physical therapy, and surgery, but there is no cure. Chiropractic care has been shown to relieve the pain many people experience due to sciatica by treating spinal misalignments or pinched nerves that lead to their back and leg pain.

This means correcting any problems in your spines, such as herniated discs, vertebral subluxation , scar tissue around the joints, and muscle spasms that cause pulling on muscles, leading to inflammation. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction where one side of this joint doesnt move smoothly, causing pressure on other areas, leading to discomforts like low-back pain or hip pain.

First, lets learn about:

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Is Pain Down The Leg Sciatica

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 .

Who Should I Go To For My Sciatica

What Type Of Doctor Should You See For Back Pain ...

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.

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Should You See A Neurologist For Back Pain And Neck Pain

People manage chronic back and neck pain in different ways. Some try stretching or alternating heat and cold at the source of the discomfort. Others turn to over-the-counter pain medicine and a stoic demeanor. Acute pain often goes away without medical treatment, but dont ignore chronic and persistent pain that lasts for weeks, months, or years. Weakness, numbness, tingling or pain radiating into an arm or leg are important symptoms that need evaluation by a physician. Talk to your doctor to determine the cause of the problem. Your primary care physician may refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist, to help determine the cause of your back pain.

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How Is Nerve Pain Diagnosed

Nerve pain affects a growing number of individuals undergoing chemotherapy treatment, living with diabetes or having suffered an injury. An estimated 20 million Americans suffer from peripheral nerve damage, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Nerve damage can cause a tingling, burning sensation in the arms, hands, legs and feet, making it impossible to function on a daily basis.

The causes as to why and how certain patients are susceptible to nerve pain can vary. Even the pain levels or difficulty standing and walking may also differ.

Have you experienced any of the common signs of nerve pain?

  • Muscle weakness

If so, its critical to know if this is nerve damage.

Early diagnosis by your physician can improve your functionality and reduce discomfort you feel.

The following are a few exams your physician may conduct to properly diagnosis the symptoms, cause and appropriate treatment for nerve pain.

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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.

Bring A Friend To Your Sciatica Appointment

When Should I See My Doctor For My Sciatic Pain?

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.

See Preparing to See A Doctor for Back and Neck Pain

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The Root Of Your Pain

An orthopedic doctor can determine the cause of your sciatic nerve pain by performing a physical exam, assessing your joint motion and stability, and testing your reflexes and sensations. In addition, your doctor may order lab tests to rule out any diseases as the source of your sciatica, and may order imaging studies to identify the exact location and extent of your sciatic nerve compression.

What Should You Do Before You See A Chiropractor

Youll need a referral from an orthopedist or neurologist if the pain is coming from these areas of the spine. If its on other body parts, they can provide that information and refer you accordingly. You also want to avoid any significant lifestyle changes like starting new physical activities or heavy lifting without consulting with them first. This could cause more damage than good in some cases.

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Causes Of A Pinched Nerve

There are many examples of how a pinched nerve can occur and also lead to other conditions that affect the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system, from more mild causes such as chronic poor posture to nerve damage from a car accident injury. A nerve can be compressed by nearby bone, muscle, joint, or other soft tissues.

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The Function Of The Sciatic Nerve

What Type Of Doctor Should You See For Back Pain ...

The sciatic nerve provides feeling and sensation throughout the leg and foot. This nerve is also responsible for most movement by stimulating the muscles in the leg to be able to feel and move. Due to the fact that it branches off into smaller nerves, it is able to accommodate a large area of the body.

What is Sciatica Pain?

Sciatica pain refers to pain that originates from the sciatic nerve. It causes pain that runs down your lower back through your gluteus maximus, and down your leg. You have a sciatic nerve that runs down each leg, however, in most cases, you only experience sciatica pain on one side of your body at a time. Due to the nerve’s massive size and length, sciatica can present in a variety of ways depending on the origination of the damage. Common symptoms include:

  • Numbness and/or tingling in the affected leg
  • Pain that ranges from mild to excruciating
  • Burning sensation in the affected leg
  • Muscle weakness

Everyone is different and may experience one or more of the above symptoms based on the severity and causes.

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What Are Your Goals For This Surgery

Making a decision about sciatica surgery when you are in a lot of pain can be tough. Be sure to discuss with your surgeon the post-surgery goals, especially those around pain and activity. Are you expecting to go back to work and the gym in a week? Are you hoping the pain will be gone entirely and for good?

Although most people experience up to 90 percent improvement in their pain levels after a sciatica surgery, no doctor can guarantee this. Numbness may still be present after the surgery, and there is always a chance of sciatica coming back at another vertebra.

Depending on the type of sciatica surgery, most people are walking the next day, and full recovery typically takes two to four weeks. Minimally invasive surgery usually means faster recovery, but if the surgery involves more than one vertebra or disc, your back may take longer to heal.

Physical Treatment Best Type Of Doctor To See For Back And Joint Pain

Physical treatment can assist you relieve as well as take care of discomfort, and improve your flexibility and function so you can do day-to-day activities. Physiotherapists are experienced in aiding deal with both intense and acute neck and back pain.

Similar to massage treatment solution, manual treatment is a specialized type of physical treatment options. It aims to adjust your muscle mass as well as joints so theyre even more structurally sound and can move much more freely. Consider it as a much more targeted and also deliberate massage therapy.

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When To See A Doctor

There is not always an obvious cause of lower back pain, and it often gets better on its own. Resting, trying hot or cold therapy, taking OTC pain relievers, and gently stretching may help speed up recovery.

However, a person should see a doctor for lower back pain that is severe, does not seem to be getting better, or occurs alongside other concerning symptoms, such as tingling or numbness down the legs.

People with lower back pain should seek immediate medical attention if they also have any of the following symptoms:

  • difficulty walking or moving the legs
  • loss of bowel or bladder function
  • loss of sensation in the legs
  • very severe pain

A doctor can help a person identify potential causes of lower back pain and recommend appropriate treatment.

There Are Many Types Of Knee Problems But Certain Symptoms And Injuries Warrant A Call To Your Doctor If You Experience Pain Swelling Instability Or The Inability To Walk Its Time To Seek Medical Attentionsome Types Of Knee Problems And Knee Pain Are Easy To Treat And Relieve At Home But Symptoms Such As Continuous Knee Pain And Swelling Or Significant Changes In Your Range Of Motion And Serious Injuries Like Cartilage Tears And Kneecap Dislocations Require Professional Medical Care If You Experience Acute Knee Pain With No Apparent Cause Or Have Problems Stemming From A Knee Injury You Need To Have This Vital Joint Examined Immediately Contact Your Doctor Now If Any Of The Following Types Of Knee Problems Apply To You:

When Should I See My Doctor About My Neck Pain, Sciatica, Or Back Pain?

Pain Lasting More than Two DaysIts important to monitor any stiffness and pain in your knee for up to 48 hours after it begins. Try to rest your knee, and ice the area several times a day. Use anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen to reduce your pain. If rest and ice dont take away the stiffness and pain in your knee, consult a physician to see if you have torn your meniscus or cartilage. The most common chronic knee pain stems from arthritis, but this type of pain will generally increase over time rather than arising suddenly .

Swelling Untreatable with Rest and IceSwelling is a direct response to an acute injury, which could be as simple as a sprained knee ligament or an indication of tendonitis. If you hear your knee make clicking sounds when you try to move your knee, this means the tendons are snapping against each other due to the strain placed on them after swelling into a new position. If at home measures havent reduced the swelling on your knee after two days of rest, its time to call your doctor.

Inability to Bear WeightTest your ability to put weight on your knee by standing on your uninjured leg first. If you are not able to bear weight on each leg equally, its time to seek treatment. If you cant stand up straight or are unable to put weight on your injured knee without pain, you need to see your doctor as quickly as possible to assess the damage to your knee.

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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.

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.

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Preparing To See A Doctor For Back And Neck Pain

If low back or neck pain persists longer than a few days or weeks, a doctors evaluation and treatment may be needed.

A general practitioner or chiropractor are often the first line of treatment for back or neck pain. These providers are able to treat or manage most cases of back or neck pain, and may provide referrals to a specialist if needed.

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