Sciatica is a term used to describe the symptoms of leg pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness that travel down the low back via the sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. Sciatica (sometimes known as radiculopathy) is a description of symptoms, not a diagnosis. A herniated disc, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and spondylolisthesis can all cause sciatica.
Treatment of Sciatica :
The Causes of Sciatica Must Be Treated on an Individualized Basis
Because of the many conditions that can compress nerve roots and cause it, one patient’s treatment options may be very different than those of another.
A combination of treatment options is often the most effective course, and many patients will try some combination of the following treatment options:
- Physical therapy and chiropractic treatments can help relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Alternating heat therapy and ice massage therapy can help to relieve acute pain from sciatica.
- Anti-inflammatory medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or oral steroids may be used to help relieve inflammation.
- Epidural steroid injections can reduce inflammation around the nerve root and the associated low back pain.
- To help control the low back pain and leg pain while undergoing other nonsurgical treatments, patients may take pain medications.
- Surgery may also be considered as a treatment option, usually (but not always) following a course of conservative treatments.
- Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg, but rarely in both sides
- Pain that originates in the low back or buttock and continues along the path of the sciatic nerve—down the back of the thigh and into the lower leg and foot
- Pain that feels better when patients lie down or are walking, but worsens when standing or sitting
- Pain typically described as sharp or searing, rather than dull
- A “pins-and-needles” sensation, numbness or weakness, or a prickling sensation down the leg in some cases
- Weakness or numbness when moving the leg or foot
- Severe or shooting pain in one leg, making it difficult to stand up or walk
- Pain and other symptoms in the toes, depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected
- Lower back pain that, if experienced at all, is not as severe as leg pain