Sciatica is a radiating pain affecting the sciatic nerve which runs down from lower back through hips and buttocks and down each leg. Normally only one side of your lower body is affected.
- Hip pain
- Pain in leg which is worse when sitting
- Tingling sensation in legs
- Weakness or difficulty in moving the leg
- Shooting pain making it difficult to stand
- Lower back pain
Risk factors include:
- Age: herniated discs are common in old age may be one of the causes.
- Obesity: increasing stress on your spine by excess weight can lead to spine changes triggering sciatica.
- Occupation: workers carrying heavy loads of weight or driving for long periods may contribute to sciatica.
- Prolonged sitting: people who have sedentary lifestyle or who sit for prolonged periods are likely to develop sciatica.
- Diabetes : it increases risk of nerve damage
During the physical exam, your doctor may check your muscle strength and reflexes. He/she may ask you to perform certain movements to see if pain is increasing with them. He may make the diagnosis based on the clinical examination and your symptoms. sometimes the following tests may be ordered by the doctor.
- CT scan
- MRI scan
- Medications such as anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants may be prescribed by your doctor. Cold and Hot compresses may be advised for relief of pain.
- Physiotherapy may be advised in some cases
- Steroid injections are sometimes advised
- Surgery is the last option when above doesn’t help u in subsiding the pain. it is also advised based on your severity of pain and weakness shown at the time of assessment .
It is not always possible to prevent sciatica, but these play key role in protecting your back.
- Exercise daily – stretching exercises mainly .
- Maintain proper posture when you sit
Make sure to consult your physician when u feel pain in your lower back and get it assessed for further management.