What is sciatica?
Sciatica is pain resulting from irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord and link to the lower back. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back and all the way down to the buttock, then it branches out to the calf, the leg and the foot. The pain of sciatica is naturally felt from the low back to behind the thigh and radiating down to below the knee.
What causes sciatica?
The common cause of sciatica is a bulging or ruptured disc (herniated disc) in the spine that is pressing on the sciatic nerve. Other condition to the spine can also cause sciatica, they are:
- Narrowing of the spinal canal (Spinal stenosis)
- Bone spurs form along the spine joints which is called Arthritis
- Nerve root compression (pinched nerve) which caused by a back injury
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Symptoms of sciatica include pain at the lower back or buttock area radiating down to the thigh, leg and foot. You may also feel weakness, tingling sensation or numbness in the leg.
- Sitting or standing for a long time may worsen the symptoms
- Walking or lying down can help to reduce the symptoms
How is sciatica diagnosed?
Sciatica is diagnosed with physical examination as well as MRI. Our specialist may also ask about your medical history.
How is sciatica treated?
Treatments for sciatica to address the underlying cause include:
- Epidural injection
- Anti-inflammatory medicine
- Muscle relaxants
- Surgery for serious sciatica cases