The term sciatica is used for defining pain symptoms along the large sciatic nerve. This nerve runs from your lower spine. It also travels down the back of the leg. Doctors diagnose sciatica is when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated by a specific lower back condition.
Understanding Sciatica Nerve Pain
The pain starts when a nerve root in your lower back gets irritated. This triggers pain which travels all the way from nerve root to the sciatic nerve. It also shifts down to the buttock, and may travel down the back of the leg and into the foot toes and/or toes.
Most patients describe sciatica pain as a shooting, searing pain. It emits down the back of the leg. The patient may sometimes feel a burning sensation, numbness, or tingling, is felt along the nerve. Some have even described it similar to electric sensation. The symptoms of sciatica may be experienced as a constant, dull pain.
Lower Back Problems – A Cause for Sciatica
The following may be the most common causes of sciatica especially in younger adults:
– Lumbar herniated disc
– Degenerative disc disease
– Isthmic spondylolisthesis
Adults over 60 years of age may suffer from sciatica due to natural degenerative changes in the spine. These may include degenerative spondylolisthesis or lumbar spinal stenosis.
Most people are tempted to self-diagnose and self-treat. The problem is that they do it for the wrong cause of sciatica. However, it is crucial to know the underlying cause of symptoms of sciatica to get the right treatment. There are several conditions that mimic the tingling, numbness and radiating pain of sciatica.
Some conditions mimic sciatica
This is not a good idea. A number of underlying conditions may cause symptoms similar to sciatic such as pain. Hence, it is crucial that you consult a doctor and get a detailed clinical diagnosis. Although rare, the pain similar to may be caused by other medical conditions and demand immediate treatment.
Some of the serious medical conditions that may cause symptoms similar to sciatica:
– Spinal tumor
– Cauda equina syndrome
– A spinal infection
– Spinal Joint Issues
– Piriformis Syndrome
– Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Spinal Joint Issues such as arthritis are not technically sciatica. Also the treatment option for the condition is also different. In this case, patients are often treated with nonsurgical therapies. These therapies are aimed at preserving joint motion and minimizing pain in the long term. Doctors also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce joint inflammation.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is also known to cause symptoms similar to sciatica. The condition is usually a very common cause of lower back, leg or hip pain. Nonsurgical treatments are usually prescribed to restore normal motion in the joint.
Piriformis syndrome is yet another condition that causes symptoms similar to sciatica. Here, the sciatic nerve is irritated by the piriformis muscle of the buttocks resulting in pain to travel along the nerve path into legs. An anti-inflammatory medication is suggested as a treatment mode for this condition. The doctor may also suggest a physical therapy.
Consulting a doctor is the best thing to do to ensure correct diagnosis. This is also crucial to get appropriate treatment. For pain in the buttocks, leg, numbness in legs, tingling in leg, or any other neurological symptoms in leg, call a doctor for clinical diagnosis. This will identify the main cause of your symptoms.
Treatment options may be unique for each case depending on the underlying cause of symptoms. Some of the examples include:
Lumbar Stenosis and Lumbar Herniated Disc
These conditions may cause symptoms similar to sciatica. Treatment and physical therapy for each condition may be unique. Some may feel comfortable while bending forward at the waist.
When this condition causes sciatica, you may require surgery for aligning and stabilizing the vertebrae prior to starting off with any kind of exercises at all.
The treatment procedure for a condition can be determined mainly largely by diagnosis.
Exercises can Help
Once the doctor gives you green signal, it is time to start a controlled regime for sciatica exercises for leg pain. If you don’t follow a controlled physical therapy, the symptoms might return and may even get worse over time. To get maximum benefits, simply follow some fundamentals for successful sciatica treatment such as getting exercises prescribed for your condition, learning how to do these exercises in the best way, and continuing with the regime.