The sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body, runs from the lower back down the back of the leg. When it is compressed or pinched due to a medical condition or an injury, you may experience what is referred to as sciatic nerve pain. Sciatica is actually a symptom, not a condition. It is the term used to describe pain that may radiate down the leg, usually only on one side. You may also feel weakness and tingling anywhere along the nerve’s pathway. The pain can be sharp, intense and debilitating.
Some of the conditions that cause sciatica include:
Mild sciatica will usually resolve itself within a few weeks. If you choose to seek medical help, our doctors will perform a physical and neurological examination to determine the best course of treatment for you. We may prescribe imaging tests such as an X-Ray, a Cat scan (CT scan) and/or an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to diagnose the root cause of your symptoms.
The following treatments could be a part of your get-well plan:
In more severe cases that result in debilitating leg weakness, impaired bowel or bladder function, and loss of sensation, you may need to have surgery.
Certain exercises and stretches such as yoga reduce your risk of developing a herniated disk. Remember to maintain good posture to minimize the stress on your back and practice proper lifting technique. It isn’t always possible to prevent sciatica but you can take action today to minimize its effects and lead a healthy and happy life.