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Sciatica

Sciatica is a grouping of side effects that affect the five spinal nerve roots. Typical symptoms of sciatica include irritation that is caused by compressed nerve roots in the spinal area. Pain will be localized in specific areas, such as the lower portion of the back, the buttocks, the thighs, the calves and the feet.

Pain often manifests as a tingling sensation or an unpleasant, numb feeling. People with Sciatica often describe their affliction as creating “pins and needles” sensations. They also find it hard to move easily or to control their legs.

Muscular weakness may come with this disorder. Usually, side effects of Sciatica afflict only one side of the human body. Pain may worsen when the weather is frigid.

Sciatica is sometimes misunderstood. Since the disorder is a range of symptoms, rather than a diagnosis of the nerve root irritation, the condition must be properly understood before it may be effectively treated. When Sciatica is referred to as Lumbar Radiculopathy, it is related to compressed sciatic nerve roots. This compression is triggered by damaged discs in the lower back.

This disorder was identified in the thirteen century.

Causes

Compressed lumbar nerves and/or sacral nerves are the root causes of this health problem. When Lumbar Radiculopathy is present, the cause of this form of Sciatica will be herniated or bulging discs, or abnormal vertebrae. Pain from this disorder will vary in severity. For some unlucky people with Sciatica, pain is extremely intense.

Typically, people who suffer from herniated spinal discs will be most at risk of experiencing Sciatica attacks. The simple act of picking something up in the wrong manner may herniate a disc, setting the stage for painful Lumbar Radiculopathy.

Another possible cause of this common health issue is tumors, which may press on the spinal cord or compress the nerve roots. Anyone who suffers from typical symptoms of Sciatica, such as back pain that also afflicts the hip and foot, incontinence, or slack muscles, should see a licensed family physician. A doctor will be able to perform tests that look for spinal tumors or related syndromes.

Lastly, accidents and injuries may provoke Sciatica episodes. Pregnancy may also raise the risk of suffering from this uncomfortable health problem.

Diagnosis

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of Sciatica should seek out medical attention, in order to obtain a formal diagnosis of this health condition. In order to diagnose the disorder, doctors will perform physical exams and neurological exams. They will also look at the medical histories of patients, to see if any “triggers” for Sciatica are present. Physicians will find out if patients are experiencing “radiating” pain that is localized in just one of their legs. They will also attempt to find indications that nerve roots are under strain due to neurological deficits. One common test for Sciatica is called Lasegue’s sign, or a straight leg rising test. During this test, the patient will move in a specific manner, in order to see if pain occurs. One movement practiced during the straight leg rising test will include passive flexion of a straightened leg.

This disorder may also be diagnosed through the usage of MRI technology. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a very accurate and effective method of confirming the presence of Sciatica.

Treatment

Typically, doctors seek to treat the underlying cause of Sciatica. For example, tumors, abscesses, and lumbar disc herniation will be treated, in order to stop Sciatica attacks from recurring. Pain relief may also be prescribed to get patients through Sciatica episodes. Surgery and spinal manipulation have been used as Sciatica treatments, with some success.

Now that you know more about Sciatica and its symptoms, causes and treatment options, you’ll be ready to make a wise and informed decision about how to deal with the stress and pain of this disorder. Anyone who suspects that they suffer from this disorder should see a licensed physician right away. Only a doctor has the skills, expertise and experience needed to run the right tests and to ascertain the underlying cause(s) of Sciatica.

While it may take time to find the right treatment, there is hope for total pain relief. By choosing the correct treatment for the root cause(s) of Sciatica, it may be possible to stop this annoying and painful affliction from coming back.

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