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.
Can Sciatica Be Caused By A Bad Mattress
While its unlikely a bad mattress is the cause of your sciatica, your mattress can definitely worsen pain if its unsupportive. Older mattresses tend to be rather unsupportive and lumpy, but even new mattresses can aggravate your sciatica if theyre not suited for your sleeping position.
Its best to use a high-quality mattress built for your sleeping position and body weight to keep your spine aligned and minimize your pain as much as possible.
When Is Surgery An Option For Sciatica
Only a very small amount of people go on to have sciatica surgery. When all other treatment options fail, your doctor may suggest surgery.
Common options include microdiscectomy and laminectomy. These are usually minimally invasive and only require a short stay in hospital.
If you are suffering from sciatica pain and would like to see a consultant spinal surgeon, go to Mr Jonathan Bulls Top Doctors profile and check his availability.
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How Is Sciatica Treated
Initially it is reasonable to try simple pain killers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, maintaining a good posture and ensuring one’s weight is acceptable. These measures may relieve symptoms over the course of a few weeks.
If symptoms continue or progress, a neurosurgical opinion should be sought. You are likely to receive an MRI after a clinical examination. If the MRI shows a large disc pressing on the nerve root, this may need removing surgically if the symptoms are persistent.
Medical studies have shown that 75-80% of patients are free of leg pain after surgery, and 65-70% remain pain free after 5 years. Tingling may also improve. Unfortunately, if the sciatica progresses to numbness or weakness it is unlikely to improve, so timely treatment is paramount.
To find out more about Mr Bassi and the London Neurosurgery Partnership click here
Do I Need To See A Doctor For My Back Pain
If youre still wondering if you should see a doctor for back pain, the short answer is yes. Going to the doctor for your back pain can help you find relief so you can enjoy life once again. At the Desert Institute for Spine Care , you can rest assured our doctors and staff will take good care of you.
At DISC, we believe every patient deserves compassionate, personalized care. We developed Personalized Pain Diagnostics to identify the pain generator and most accurate diagnosis. With PPM we can personalize and tailor the right treatment or surgical option for our patients. We begin by asking questions and listening carefully to your experience. We then investigate your symptoms further through an examination and imaging tests.
Once we develop ideas about your pain, we will discuss them honestly and clearly with you and invite you to ask questions. We want to ensure you feel comfortable and can make an informed decision about your treatment.
When youre ready, well apply the latest technology to treat your pain and help you restore your lifestyle.
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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.
What Kind Of Doctor Treats Sciatica
If you have ever suffered from sciatica, you know that it is a different type of pain than normal leg and back pain. For many, the pain of sciatica can be excruciating and prevent them from participating in daily life. While mild pain may be managed at home, most people suffer enough from sciatic pain that they seek medical treatment. But what kind of doctor should you visit? Sciatic pain affects your back and legs, but is actually caused by nerve issues. When you look for clinics in Marietta, GA, it is important to look for a spine specialist who can treat all aspects of sciatica.
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Your Sciatica Follows Trauma Or Injury
While the majority of sciatica cases are the result of a lumbar herniated disc, some people develop symptoms following an accident or traumatic event. It is not known whether the trauma caused the disc herniation itself or if symptoms occur after an asymptomatic condition became symptomatic. If your sciatica begins after an accident or injury, you should proactively seek medical treatment to determine the cause and best treatment approach.
This is also true for injured athletes who experience sciatica from a lumbar herniated disc. Lumbar disc herniation can result from partaking in any one of a number of sports and high-impact activities, such as weight lifting, gymnastics, and collision sports like football, hockey, and lacrosse. In addition to learning ways to best prevent lumbar disc injurieslike using proper lifting techniques and wearing the right shoes and protective gearathletes should make it a point to seek a medical opinion when injuries do occur.
Who Will Treat My Sciatica Pain
Choosing the right practitioner depends on the type of sciatica nerve pain you are experiencing. Back and leg pain specialists come from a variety of backgrounds, including orthopedics, neurology, traditional, alternative and complementary medicine.
Your primary care physician should be your first stop. He or she will likely advise rest, painkillers, or an oral steroid dose pack along with muscle relaxants, anticonvulsants or opiates. Your doctor may order an MRI to diagnose the source of the pain or rule out other conditions. If the pain does not improve, he may refer you to a neurologist.
Neurologists specialize in disorders of the nervous system, which includes the sciatic nerve. A neurologist may perform several addition diagnostic tests like an EMG or nerve conduction studies to localize the problem and determine treatment. Since sciatica is a nerve disorder, involving a neurologist in the diagnosis and treatment of the condition is beneficial.
When conservative methods fail to relieve pain symptoms, a patient may be referred to a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon. Surgery is usually a last resort and used when there is rapid loss of leg function, the pain is completely unbearable, or there is evidence of imminent nerve damage.
For nonsurgical options, you may be referred to a physical therapist, chiropractor, or acupuncturist and biofeedback practitioners.
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When Should You See A Doctor For Sciatica Pain Relief
One day, youre a strong, active person in good shape and good health. Then, just like that, youre completely down for the count due to disabling pain shooting from your lower back, down your leg, and into your ankle and foot. The culprit? Sciatica.
Each year, 1-2 percent of all people experience sciatica, or pain, numbness, and weakness that radiates down the leg due to compression of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica symptoms can come on suddenly and quickly get in the way of your day-to-day activitiesnot to mention cause you severe pain and discomfort.
How do you know when its the right time to see a doctor to prevent potential long-term complications and provide relief from sciatica pain? Well break it down for you.
Why Is Sciatica So Painful At Night
Sciatica pain can be aggravated when lying down, making it difficult to sleep and find a comfortable position. In some instances, sciatic pain can be severe to the point of waking you up at night. Adjusting your sleep position, as well as using a supportive mattress, can ease your pain.
Side sleeping may place pressure directly onto the nerve roots and tilt your hips out of alignment with your spine. Its best to lay on your unaffected side and use a pillow between your knees to keep your spine aligned and prevent pain.
Lying on your back emphasizes the lumbar spines curve, potentially pinching the sciatic nerves roots and causing pain. Elevate your legs using a pillow under your knees or an adjustable base to reduce the pressure and relieve your symptoms.
Stomach sleeping can overextend your lower back and irritate your sciatica, so its best to try a different sleeping position. However, if its too difficult to switch positions, temporarily use a pillow under your hips to protect your back.
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What Causes Sciatica To Flare Up
Some potential triggers for sciatica flare-ups include:
- Stress and anxiety: Sciatica can be exacerbated by anxious thoughts as, when stressed, the brain deprives the nerves of needed oxygen and can result in weakness and tingling in the legs.
- Wallet sciatica: Wallet sciatica is a term used to describe sciatica aggravated by sitting on your wallet, keys, or cellphone. When an item is in your back pocket, it directly presses up against the sciatica nerve and causes a flare-up.
- High heels: When wearing high heels, your center of gravity shifts and stretches your hamstring and sciatic nerve. Walking on your toes, as you do in heels, might also irritate your sciatica.
- Poor posture: Having poor posture when sitting or standing puts stress on your lower back and spine, resulting in a flare-up.
- Tight clothing: Some clothing may be just tight enough to press against your sciatic nerve and trigger your sciatica pain.
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
Complete Multidisciplinary Specialty Care
Our doctors deliver state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment for sciatica through the dedicated Penn State Health Spine Center. As part of Penn State Bone and Joint Institute, this specialty center offers focused care for both common and complex conditions affecting the spine and spinal cord. Fellowship-trained providers from neurosurgery, orthopaedics, pain management, radiology, physiatry and more work closely together to give you the most complete, efficient care and best patient outcomes.
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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> > > The Shocking Ways Your Tight Hips Are Holding You Back
Many people have tight hips. A tight hip is caused by muscle tension in the hip flexors. These muscles stabilize the pelvis, move the legs sideways, and shorten in order to draw the knees in toward the chest. They are also responsible for poor posture and misalignment of the head. They are located on the front of the inner hip. They are a vital part of the core. If you want to avoid the discomfort and stiffness that can accompany tight hips, here are some tips to keep your hips healthy.
Tight hips can cause lower back pain and difficulty standing up straight. You can also perform a hip flexor test to determine if you have tight hips. You need to lie on a flat surface and have someone hold your leg. If you have a tight hip, your thigh will rise. If you feel pain while bending, you may have tight hips. Try to do some light stretches.
When Is Sciatica An Emergency Situation
While sciatica may involve alarming and excruciating pain, it is commonly not serious. But if you experience any of the symptoms below, please seek professional help immediately. Here are some rare cases where your sciatica may be more severe than you think:
- When your symptoms occur in both legs, it is known as bilateral sciatica. It can cause dysfunctions with your bladder and bowel movement. Also, it is possible to feel an altered sensation or malfunction in your genital area, which may indicate cauda equina syndrome. It is another rare condition. Both these can sometimes cause paralysis.
- When your sciatica happens after experiencing a trauma or accident, seek help. Also, if you have sciatica accompanied by loss of appetite, fever, or other abnormal symptoms.
- When your sciatic pain keeps on getting worse and does not show any improvement, consult with a doctor. There is a possibility of nerve damage, especially when you feel weakness in your leg.
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The Function Of The Sciatic Nerve
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.
How Can A Pain Management Doctor Help Me With My Sciatica
Sciatica is a painful and frustrating spinal condition that is characterized by persistent pain that begins in the lower back and usually travels down one leg, and sometimes both legs. The good news is that sciatica pain can with proper care be controlled.
Lets talk about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of this common nerve-related problem, and where you can go to find a pain management doctor who can help you resolve your sciatica pain.
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K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
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