Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body.
• Pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg is the hallmark of sciatica.
• The pain can vary widely, from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating pain. Sometimes it can feel like a jolt or electric shock. It can be worse when you cough or sneeze, and prolonged sitting can aggravate symptoms. Usually only one side of your body is affected.
• Some people also have numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot.
• You might have pain in one part of your leg and numbness in another part.
a) Physical exam: Doctor may check
• Your muscle strength and reflexes. For example, you may be asked to walk on your toes or heels, rise from a squatting position and, while lying on your back, lift your legs one at a time. Pain that results from sciatica will usually worsen during these activities.
b) Imaging tests: Include
• CT scan
• Electromyography (EMG)
The types of drugs that might be prescribed for sciatica pain include:
• Muscle relaxants
• Tricyclic antidepressants
• Anti-seizure medications
• Physical therapy
Once your acute pain improves, a physical therapist at Aadil hospital will design a rehabilitation program to help you prevent future injuries. This typically includes exercises to correct your posture, strengthen the muscles supporting your back and improve your flexibility.
A physical therapist can use heat, traction, short wave diathermy, ultrasound, TENs and other measures to help ease your pain and prevent a recurrence.
• Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).Electrodes placed on your skin near the painful areas deliver tiny electrical impulses that may relieve pain.
• Traction. Traction uses weights, pulleys or an air bladder to gently stretch your neck. This therapy, under supervision of a medical professional and physical therapist, may provide relief of some neck pain, especially pain related to nerve root irritation.
• Short-term immobilization. A soft collar that supports your neck may help relieve pain by taking pressure off the structures in your neck. However, if used for more than three hours at a time or for more than one to two weeks, a collar might do more harm than good.
• Steroid injections
In some cases, your doctor might recommend injection of a corticosteroid medication into the area around the involved nerve root.
This option is usually reserved for when the compressed nerve causes significant weakness, loss of bowel or bladder control, or when you have pain that progressively worsens or doesn't improve with other therapies. Surgeons can remove the bone spur or the portion of the herniated disk that's pressing on the pinched nerve.
Consult at Aadil Hospital for medical, surgical and physiotherapy.