The nerve roots that branch out towards the base of the spine together form the sciatic nerve which begins near the lower back and extends into the legs, feet and toes. Sciatica is a medical condition which causes pain, numbness and tingling sensation radiating from one side of the buttock downwards into the legs and feet. It generally affects only one side of the body
- Spinal Stenosis – narrowing of the spinal canal
- Development of bone spurs in the spine
- Herniated Disc
- Compression of the nerve root
- Injuries to the spine
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal cancer
- Tingling sensation
- Pain after sitting or standing for long duration
Sciatica symptoms and pain generally improve over a period of time. Some of the treatment options are mentioned below:
Heat therapy/Cryotherapy – In the initial stages of Sciatica, application of heat or ice packs may be recommended to alleviate pain. The patient can wrap ice cubes in a clean towel for application to prevent ice burns. The patient may be advised to apply the pack every 2-3 hours for not more than 10 minutes each. Some patients may find relief by alternating between hot and cold therapy.
Rest – The patient may be recommended to take rest to allow the body to heal. Avoiding bending or lifting heavy objects may also ease pain.
Injections – For patients with severe pain, the orthopedic doctor may recommend Injecting epidural medications to relieve the discomfort.
Medication – Prescription of anti-inflammatory medications may help to relieve pain, inflammation and muscle spasms.
Exercising – Long walks, stretching the piriformis muscle (runs parallel to the sciatic nerve in the leg), water aerobics, lower abdominal crunches and strengthening muscles of the abdomen and back help may provide additional support to the sciatic nerve
Orthotics: Use of external support devices such as back brace, crutches and a walking cane can help relieve pressure on the nerve
Physical Therapy: Consulting a physical therapist may enables the patient to deal with his/her daily activities and shorten recovery period.
Surgery – It may be recommended only when the conservative methods of treatment fail to provide relief. Depending upon the cause of the condition, surgical treatment may involve removal of bone spurs, reduction of pressure on the nerve, repairing a damaged disc as well as enlarging the space within the spinal cavity
We, at OrthoTexas, provide complete treatment for Sciatica and other spine conditions.