Back discomfort affects almost 31 million Americans, resulting in a staggering amount of missed work days and medical visits, as well as billions of dollars in annual treatment costs. This discomfort can sometimes spread to other parts of the body, such as the legs. Sciatica is the medical term for this condition. Let us learn more about What You Need to Know About Sciatica.
What Is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the hips and buttocks and down each leg, causes sciatica. It usually affects only one side of the body.
When a herniated disc, bone spur, or spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine) compresses a portion of the nerve, inflammation, numbness, and discomfort result.
- Sciatica can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- “Pins-and-needles” sensation in one leg
- Sharp or searing pain
- Weakness when moving the affected leg or foot
Patients with sciatica may have some lower back pain, but their leg discomfort is usually more severe.
Risk Factors of Sciatica
Sciatica is a pretty prevalent condition that affects 15 to 40% of the population. Some people, however, are more prone to suffer from it due to circumstances such as:
- Age – As early as the age of 30, your spine begins to degrade, resulting in sciatica. Your spinal discs grow less robust as you get older, increasing your chances of having this discomfort.
- Manual labour — If you routinely carry heavy items at work, you may develop lumbar radiculopathy, or spinal nerve root irritation, which can produce sciatica symptoms.
- Other health conditions – Diabetes makes nerves, notably the sciatic nerve, more vulnerable to injury. During pregnancy, hormonal changes increase the risk of sciatica. Excess body weight can put strain on your spine as well.
- Physical activity – Running and walking on a regular basis is excellent for the body, but the piriformis muscle’s frequent contractions can irritate the sciatic nerve.
- Sedentary lifestyle – Sitting puts pressure on your spine and discs, as well as irritates your spinal nerve roots. Let’s learn more about What You Need to Know About Sciatica.
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“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” remarked Benjamin Franklin, and this is especially true when it comes to sciatica. While it is not always feasible to avoid the condition, there are certain actions you may take to alleviate the discomfort, such as:
• Regular exercise – To maintain your back strong, keep your core muscles engaged throughout physical activity. Swimming is especially beneficial since it relieves strain on the spine.
• Maintaining excellent posture — Select a seat with enough lower back and armrest support. While sitting, keep your knees and hips level.
• Good body mechanics – When standing for lengthy periods of time, take a break and rest one foot on a stool or small box. Allow your legs to handle the lifting if you need to lift something heavy, and avoid lifting and twisting at the same time. Let’s find out more about What You Need to Know About Sciatica.
If your sciatica isn’t getting better, talk to your doctor about treatment alternatives like:
- Heat/ice packs
- Pain medications
- Steroid injections
Unless you’ve had persistent leg pain for more than four to six weeks and nonsurgical therapies have failed, your doctor will likely prescribe surgery for sciatica. One of two operations may be considered, depending on the origin and duration of the pain: Let’s find out more about What You Need to Know About Sciatica.
• Microdiscectomy – For sciatica caused by lumbar disc herniation, an open procedure with magnification is typical. Only the part of the disc compressing the nerve is removed in this operation.
• Lumbar laminectomy – A procedure including the removal of the bone or disc that is compressing the nerve root is advised in situations of spinal stenosis. Let’s find out more about What You Need to Know About Sciatica.
Both operations are available in minimally invasive and outpatient variants, which can help you get back on your feet faster.
Dr Vipin the managing director of KLM Group. He is a well-known gold-medalist Orthopedic Surgeon, strongly reputed for his trusted and focused attitude our rich knowledge and experience, be assured of quality healthcare and world-class medical services in Orthopaedic, Spine care, Ophthalmology, X-ray & Diagnostics services along with physiotherapy services.
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