When Sciatica Strikes

When Sciatica Strikes

The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the human body. It is the longest and the widest. It starts in the lower back, just above the buttocks, and runs the length of your leg. It ends at the top of your foot in the area of the heel.

The sciatica nerve has a very ominous reputation because it is also well known for the intense pain that can arrive when pressure is put on the nerve. The pain can shoot down your leg and flare up through your lower back. It is commonly very painful in the area of the buttocks and hips.

The pain is often sharply defined as searing, hot, electric pain that flashes through your buttocks, hips, lower back, and legs. You can often point directly to the source of the pain, but it is so painful, it radiates beyond the source. You can have proper medical attention by calling 619-333-8114.

La ciática

Sciatica is the condition created with this nerve being disturbed. Very often, the pain goes as quickly as it arrives. It can flare up due to specific movements, such as bending over in a particular direction. However, while it can go away on its own and even retreat for several months or more before flaring up again. It can be distressing enough to require treatment. The pain is often seen on lists of the most painful conditions that humans have ever experienced.

Symptoms

  • A sharp, electric pain slicing through the lower back, hips, buttocks, and legs
  • Tingling, numb skin in the areas of flare-up
  • The pain can come suddenly and end just as abruptly
  • Weakness in the legs

Diagnosis

A diagnosis of sciatica starts with a physical exam. Doctors may add a neurological exam to their normal physical. You may be asked to sit, stand, walk, lift his or her legs and try other maneuvers to help diagnose sciatica. The doctor may also ask if you can feel sensation when he or she stimulates various locations, like the bottom of your feet.

While sciatica can be quickly diagnosed, there are many possible causes of the condition depending on the patient. Computerized tomography scanning (CT scan) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could be deployed. The doctor will also discuss your various activities to see if you can isolate the exact movement that has triggered sciatica.

Various Causes

Herniated disc

Spinal discs are cushion-like, spongy discs that allow backs to twist and bend over smoothly. They prevent vertebrae from rubbing together and add a cushion to make your back operate smoothly. When a disc is ruptured when it slips out of position or tears. This is called a herniated disc. This can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Spinal Tumor

Tumors can press on the sciatic nerve.

Piriformis Syndrome

The piriformis is a muscle deep in the buttocks. Sometimes the piriformis goes into spasms. When this occurs, it is possible to put pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Degenerative Arthritis

This degenerative bone condition can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Spinal Stenosis

This degenerative spinal condition causes narrowing of the spinal canal, which can lead to sciatica.

Sacroiliitis

Just between the spin and the pelvic are the sacroiliac joints. Their location makes it possible for them to put pressure on sciatica if they happen to flare up.

Pregnancy

Depending on where the weight of the baby and the womb rests, some pregnancies result in sciatica from the extra weight putting pressure on the nerve.

Treatment Options

  • Heat and ice
  • Rest
  • Keep moving. Walking, light exercise and other movements can help relieve pressure on the nerve
  • Yoga
  • Masaje
  • La acupuntura
  • Pain medications
  • Epidural injections – a steroid injection into the spine
  • Physical therapy

Seeking Help

In San Diego, call Pacific Medical Care at 619-333-8114 if you suffer from lower back pain, sciatic flare-ups or ongoing sciatic nerve pain.

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