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Overview

Sciatica - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Sciatica is the pain that occurs in the large sciatic nerve that runs from our lower back down through the back of the legs. It’s a disease that causes severe and debilitating pain. Sciatica pain that originates in the lower back moves down and travels through our buttocks along the path of the sciatic nerve, behind our legs causing numbness, tingling sensation or weakness. Anatomically speaking, this nerve is the largest single nerve in our body and constitutes of individual nerve roots that starts by spreading out from our spine in the lower back and then assimilate to form the ‘sciatic nerve’. The symptoms of this disease arise, when this large nerve gets compressed or irritated at or near its point of origin.

Patients suffering from sciatica pain are rarely aged below 20. This disease is commonplace in middle age people who are between the ages of 40-50. While sciatica pain is often loosely used to describe all kinds of leg pains, but researchers estimate that up to 43 percent of the global population gets affected with this disease, at some times in their lives. Although pain from a pinched nerve can be debilitating, but most of the patients suffering from sciatica, find themselves feeling better with medication, within a few weeks or months.

Sciatica is a condition that seldom occurs because of a particular injury, but rather this painful condition develops over time.

The following 6 lower back medical issues are the most common causes of sciatica:

In addition to the above stated 6 most common causes, a number of other conditions can also cause sciatica, which includes:

Sciatica can be treated both surgically and non-surgically. There are a wide range of options that are available for nonsurgical sciatica treatment, such as, ice and heat compression on the affected site, ingesting over-the-counter pain medications and injecting epidural steroid injection for relieving acute pain. Usually all these treatments are prescribed in conjunction with specific exercises. In addition, these common medical treatments, a wide number of alternative treatments have also proved effective for many patients for alleviating this pain. Some of the most accepted forms of alternate care for treating sciatica includes acupuncture therapy, chiropractic manipulation, massage and cognitive behavior therapy.

Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test sometimes required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Non communicable
Symptoms
Constant pain that remains on any one side of the buttock, but seldom on both sides. Pain originates in the low back and continuing to travel along the path of the sciatic nerve- down through the back of the thigh and into the lower part of the leg and foot. Pain often feels better when lying down or while walking, but worsens when sitting or standing. Pain is not a dull pain, rather, it’s a searing and sharp agony. Numbness, prickling and a pin-and-needle sensation that travels down the leg.

Popular Health Tips

Sciatica - Know Its Ayurvedic Treatments!

Dr. Ram Arora 87% (959 ratings)
MD- Ayurveda
Ayurveda, Ujjain
Sciatica - Know Its Ayurvedic Treatments!
Gridhrasi is what Sciatica is known as in Ayurveda. It is the disorder that causes mild to agonizing pain in the sciatic nerve or neuralgia. These nerves, emerging from the pelvis, run along the hamstring and may cause intense pain in one or both the legs when a person suffers from Sciatica. Sciatic pains fill your life with misery as the simplest of daily activities cause sudden and excruciating pain. There are two types of sciatica i.e. true sciatica and pseudo-sciatica. Sciatica may be caused due to bulging disc or herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, piriformis syndrome, pregnancy or trauma etc. According to Ayurveda, Sciatica is caused due to vitiation of VATA DOSHA i.e. the dosha responsible for the functional ability and movement of the body, and also in some cases due to association with KAPHA DOSHA i.e. the dosha that is responsible for body fluids and lubrication. Ayurvedic herbs that improve the symptoms of Sciatica are: Harsingar ig Saphalika (Nyctanthes arbortristis) is also known as night flowering Jasmin, decoction of it s leaves is very effective in Sciatica as well as in rheumatism. Babunah is also known as Bitter Chamomile. Not only is it used to relieve and reduce the pain faced by a sciatica patient, but it is also used for treating problems such as rheumatism due to the advancement of age. Compressed bitter chamomile flowers are prescribed for sciatica. Guggulu is also known as Indian Bdellium. Since Guggulu is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it relaxes the sciatic nerves. Rasna is also known as Vanda Orchid. Intense or agonizing pain due to the sciatic nerve issues can be reduced by this ayurvedic herb due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Juniper oil is extremely helpful when massaged onto the thigh muscles with firm strokes or pressure. It is used extensively in massage therapy for treating sciatica since the extent of reduction in sciatic nerve pain is tremendous. Jaiphal is also known as Nutmeg. After being mixed with sesame seeds oil, nutmeg is coarsely powdered and then fried till it turns brown. This is then applied to those areas where the sciatic pain is intense for instant relief. Kumari is also known as Indian Aloe. Properties of Indian Aloe are extremely helpful in treating lower back ailments such as sciatica and lumbago. Shallaki is also known as Boswellia or Frankincense. Containing anti-inflammatory properties, shallaki is applied externally to get relief from sciatic nerve pain. Ayurvedic preparations such as yogaraja Guggulu, Vataganjakusha, Saindhavadi taila are also very useful in treating Sciatica.
3590 people found this helpful

Procedures That Can Help Treat Slip Disc & Sciatica!

Dr. Neeraj Jain 80% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD, FIMSA, FIPP
Pain Management Specialist, Delhi
Procedures That Can Help Treat Slip Disc & Sciatica!
The intervertebral discs are made-up of two concentric layers, the inner gel-like Nucleus Pulposus and the outer fibrous Annulus fibrosus. As a result of advancing age, the nucleus loses fluid, volume and resiliency and the entire disc structure becomes more susceptible to trauma and compression. This condition is called as degeneration of the disc. The disc then is highly vulnerable to tears and as these occur, the inner nucleus pulposus protrudes through the fibrous layer, producing a bulge in the intervertebral disc. This condition is named as herniated disc. This can then cause compression to the spinal cord or the emerging nerve roots and lead to associated problems of Sciatica radiating pain from back to legs in the distribution of the nerve. Other symptoms could be a weakness, tingling or numbness in the areas corresponding to the affected nerve. Sometimes bladder compromise is also present, which is made evident for urine retention and this need to be taken care as an emergency. Excessive weight, bad postures, undue movements, improper weight lifting and other kinds of traumas may weaken the intervertebral discs. When this occurs the pulpous nucleus will bulge against the annulus, or even be squeezed through it (extruded disc). The first steps to deal with a herniated or prolapsed lumbar disc are conservative. These include rest, analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication and in some cases physical therapy. At this point, it is convenient to have some plain X-rays done, in search of some indirect evidence of the disc problem, as well as of degenerative changes on the spine. If in a few days these measures have failed, the diagnosis has to be confirmed by means of examinations that give better detail over the troubled area, as the MRI, CT which will show the disc, the space behind it and in the first case, the nerves. In some instances, the EMG (electromyography) is also of great value, as this will show the functionality of the nerves and muscles. Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, one of the best alternatives existing today is the Ozone Discolysis as the results obtained are excellent and practically has no complications. This novel treatment avoids the use of surgery in 80% of those who needed it. In most patients left with painkillers as the only treatment, the symptoms eventually disappear, only that this could take weeks to months. Ozone speeds up these developments, see the same result in a few weeks. The problem has to be seen and approached integrally and frequently the combination of therapies has to be used, most frequently physiotherapy. Also, it has to be known that those who had a herniated disc have 10 times more chances of having another herniation than the rest of the population. If despite the ozone therapy the symptoms persist, Drill Discectomy/ Laser Discectomy are good alternatives before open surgery (Discectomy) which has to be contemplated in those true emergencies, as mentioned above, this is possibly the first choice. Once the conservative treatment fails: Early aggressive treatment plan of pain has to be implemented to prevent peripherally induced CNS changes that may intensify or prolong pain making it a complex pain syndrome. Only 5% of total LBP patients would need surgery & 20% of discal rupture or herniation would need surgery. Nonoperative treatment is sufficient in most of the patients, although patient selection is important even then. Depending upon the diagnosis one can perform & combine properly selected percutaneous fluoroscopic guided procedures with time spacing depending upon pt`s pathology & response to treatment. Using precision diagnostic & therapeutic blocks in chronic LBP, isolated facet joint pain in 40%, discogenic pain in 25% (95% in L4-5&L5S1), segmental dural or nerve root pain in 14% & sacroiliac joint pain in 15% of the patients. This article describes successful interventions of these common causes of LBP after conservative treatment has failed. LESI: Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection Indicated in Acute radicular pain due to irritation or inflammation. Symptomatic herniated disc with failed conservative therapy Acute exacerbation of discogenic pain or pain of spinal stenosis Neoplastic infiltration of roots Epidural fibrosis Chronic LBP with acute radicular symptoms Epidural- lumbar injection ESI Treatment Plan Compared to interlaminar approach better results are found with a transforaminal approach where drugs (steroid+ LA/saline +/- hyalase) are injected into anterior epidural space & neural foramen area where herniated disc or offending nociceptors are located. Whereas in interlaminar approach most of drug is deposited in posterior epidural space.Drugs are injected total 6-10 ml at lumbar, 3-6 ml at cervical & 20+ ml, if caudal approach is selected. Lumbar ESI is performed close to the level of radiculopathy, often using paramedian approach to target the lateral aspect of the epidural space on involved side. Cervical epidural is performed at C7-T1 level. SNRB- Selective Nerve Root Block Fluoroscopically performed it is a good diagnostic & therapeutic procedure for radiculopathy pain if There is minimal or no radiological finding. Multilevel imaging abnormalities Equivocal neurological examination finding or discrepancy between clinical & radiological signs Postop patient with unexplainable or recurrent pain Combined canal & lateral recess stenosis. To find out the pathological dermatome for more invasive procedures, if needed Intradiscal Procedures Provocative Discography - Coupled with CT A diagnostic procedure & prognostic indicator for surgical outcome is necessary for the evaluation of patients with suspected discogenic pain, its ability to reproduce pain(even with normal radiological finding), to determine type of disc herniation /tear, finding surgical options & in assessing previously operated spines. Percutaneous Disc Decompression (PDD) After diagnosing the level of painful offending disc various percutaneous intradiscal procedures can be employed Ozone Discolysis: Ozone Discectomy a revolutionary least invasive safe & effective alternative to spine surgery is the treatment of choice for prolapsed disc (PIVD) done under local anaesthesia in a daycare setting. This procedure is ideally suited for cervical & lumbar disc herniation with radiculopathy. The total cost of the procedure is much less than that of surgical discectomy. All these facts have made this procedure very popular at European countries. It is also gaining popularity in our country due to high success rate, less invasiveness, fewer chances of recurrences, remarkably fewer side effects meaning high safety profile, short hospital stay, no postoperative discomfort or morbidity and low cost. Dekompressor: A mechanical percutaneous nucleosome cuts & drills out the disc material somewhat like morcirator debulking the disc reducing nerve compression. Epidural Adhenolysis or Percutaneous Decompressive Neuroplasty for Epidural Fibrosis or Adhesions in Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS) A catheter is inserted in epidural space via caudal/ interlaminar/ transforaminal approach. After epidurography testing volumetric irrigation with normal saline/ L.A./ hyalase/ steroids/ hypertonic saline in different combinations is then performed along with mechanical adenolysis with spring loaded or stellated catheters or under direct vision with epiduroscope.
4489 people found this helpful

9 Leading Causes of Sciatica!

Dr. K Kartik Revanappa 91% (17 ratings)
MCh - Neurosurgery , MS - Orthopaedics
Neurosurgeon, Bangalore
9 Leading Causes of Sciatica!
Sciatica refers to the pain one experiences due to the irritation or compression of nerve roots contributing to formation of Sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body, running from the lower back, down to the back of each leg. The pain can occur in the lower back and spread to the hips, buttocks and leg. Sciatica generally affects one side of the body. There are numerous causes of irritation of the sciatic nerve and sciatica. Some of them are: Spinal Stenosis: The narrowing of the spinal canal caused by natural wear and tear of the vertebrae (individual bones in the spine protecting underlying nerves) of the spine is known as spinal stenosis. The narrowing may put pressure on the roots of the sciatic nerve, causing pain. Herniated Disc: A disc is made up of cartilage and acts as a cushion between vertebrae, allowing flexibility of the spine. A herniated or slipped disc occurs when a disc is temporarily pushed out of place, putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. Spondylolisthesis: It is a condition where one of the lower vertebrae slips forward over another. This also causes a collapse of the disc space between both, causing the nerve to get pinched. This may cause sciatica. Piriformis Syndrome: Piriformis is a muscle found deep inside the buttocks, which connects the lower spine to the upper thighbone, running directly over the sciatic nerve. Spasming of this muscle can pressurize the sciatic nerve, triggering symptoms of sciatica. Sacroilitis: Sacroillac joints are the place where the lower spine meets the pelvis and inflammation of one or both of these joints causes sacroilitis. This can give rise to symptoms of sciatica as it causes pain in the lower back, buttocks and legs. Spinal tumors: Very rarely, tumors growing inside or along the spine may put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Infection or injury: Muscle inflammation, infections, fractures or any other spinal injury may lead to irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. Pregnancy: Pregnant women may suffer from sciatica due to weight gain, expansion of the uterus or increased fluid retention or other changes occurring in the body, which put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Other causes: Osteoarthritis and fractures caused by osteoporosis may also affect the sciatic nerve, producing symptoms of sciatica.
3110 people found this helpful

4 Causes Behind Sciatica Pain!

Dr. Tariq Tramboo 91% (41 ratings)
Pain Management, MD - Pain Medicine & Anesthesiology
Pain Management Specialist, Srinagar
4 Causes Behind Sciatica Pain!
Sciatica pain arises from the sciatic nerve which is the single largest nerve in our body. It consists of individual nerve roots, which branching out from the lower back of the spine to the back of each leg and combining together forms the sciatic nerve. The origination of the sciatic pain lies in the lower back of the body and radiates down the buttock to the sciatic nerve. Causes of the sciatica pain Arthritis: If an individual is diagnosed with arthritis, then he or she can expect a throbbing pain or numbness down till the leg. Herniated disc: Another cause could be a herniated disc in the lower back of the body. Spondylosis: Spondylosis in the lower back would also be a reason for the development of the sciatica pain. PIVD/DISC bulge Other causes are a spinal injury, diseased degenerative disc, infection on and around the lower back. The pain would worsen, if an individual is in an occupation where he or she has to stand or sit for hours at length. The lifting of heavy things would strain the sciatic nerves as well. How to identify sciatica pain? Sciatica pain varies from infrequent to a constant throbbing down the lower back. So initially it is difficult to detect whether it is sciatic pain or not. But when the constant pain in the lower back leads right down till the toes and foot, it is really time for an individual to get in touch with a doctor. The pain can give a burning sensation almost searing making it difficult for the person to stand up or walk properly. Along with the pain, one can feel fatigued. An involvement of the spinal cord is rare in the sciatic pain but is possible. Treatment for sciatica pain Sciatica can be treated in both surgical and non-surgical way. Surgical treatment is rare as sciatica tends to respond well with non-surgical treatments. If the pain continues for over a month despite treatment, surgical treatment will be considered. The non-surgical pain treatment would include physical exercises and oral medications along with natural treatment. Medications: Painkiller medications prescribed by the doctor can be used to reduce sciatica. Medicines like aspirin, non-steroidal or oral steroids can help reduce the pain. Steroid injection: Epidural steroid injection acts faster as it is injected in the affected area, thus providing relief from the pain quickly. Exercise: Early morning exercises can be quite helpful. Percutaneous Endoscopic Discectomy: The surgical treatment of Percutaneous endoscopic disc dissectomy constitutes a large part of interventional pain physicians and it has evolved considerably in terms of surgical technique and instrumentation. Percutaneous endoscopic discectomy is a relatively new technique for removing lumbar disc herniation. It involves using an endoscope to visualize the disc removal. The discectomy is performed through a posterolateral approach using specially developed instruments. The advantage of percutaneous endoscopic discectomy is that the disc is approached posterolaterally through the triangle of Kambin without the need for bone or facet resection thus preserving spinal stability. The procedure is day care and is done under local anaesthesia.
5129 people found this helpful

Homeopathy For Everyone

Dr. Shiv Kumar Singh 85% (19 ratings)
BHMS
Homeopath, Varanasi
Homeopathy For Everyone
Sciatica (pain going down the leg from the lower back, weakness or numbness of the affected leg) can be treat safely by the gentle touch of homeopathic medicines.
3 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi, I'm suffering from nightfall since last 1 year. Hence sperm count is low. Can't handle that weakness anymore. I also have sciatica nerve pain on the left leg. And lower back pain on the right side. Give me some suggestions about this.

Dr. Shobhit Tandon 91% (143 ratings)
MBBS, PG-Diploma In Clinical Pathology
Orthopedist, Sri Ganganagar
Sciatica is not so much a condition but actually a symptom. It refers to pain that begins in the hip and buttocks and continues all the way down the leg. This symptom is often accompanied by low back pain, which can be more or less severe than the leg pain. The term sciatica indicates that the sciatic nerve, which travels from the lower back through the buttocks and into the leg, is thought to be the cause of the pain in this condition. True sciatica is a condition that occurs when a herniated disc or osteoarthritic bone spurs compress and pinch one of the contributing roots of the sciatic nerve. This is known as a pinched nerve. This type of lower back pain is less common than other causes and conditions that produce back pain. For instance, sporting activities, recreational activities, and heavy labor can cause back and leg pain, which is commonly misdiagnosed as sciatica. The challenge for a physician is to distinguish between radicular pain (also called radiculopathy), which is caused by an inflamed nerve root, and referred pain, which is a result of a musculoskeletal sprain or strain. For nightfall eat raw garlic early morning daily nano leo sachets bd for 1 mth for sperm counts and then reexamine after 1 mth.
1 person found this helpful

I am suffering from right leg sciatica with severe pain. Is there any medicine or any other remedial measure which can help me out fro pain? Although I got similar pain in 2013 and got operated for LV5-S1 in Oct 2013.

Dr. G.R. Agrawal 95% (17887 ratings)
DHMS (Hons.)
Homeopath, Patna
Hello, You need to reduce your weight, first to check back pain & reducing pressure on sciatic nerve. Tk, homoeopathic medicine: @.Arnica mont 1000-6 pills, twice a wk. Go for meditation to reduce your stress to condition sciatic nerve. Correct your sitting & lying posture to reduce pressure on scatic nerve. Avoid, lifting weight, jerks, cold intake. Tk, care.
2 people found this helpful

I'm 7 months pregnant. I have sciatica nerve leg pain. I'm unable to walk. Can you suggest some remedies. How many days this pains will be there.

Dr. Vishwas Virmani 94% (16514 ratings)
MPT, BPT
Physiotherapist, Noida
Piriformis Stretch 1.Lie on your back. 2.Cross your left leg over your right so that your left ankle rests on your right knee. 3.Use your hands to grab hold of your left knee and pull it gently toward the opposite shoulder. 4.Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. 5.Relax, and then repeat with the other leg. 6.Repeat this cycle 2 to 4 times.
1 person found this helpful

Sir, I have sciatic pain since 2 weeks and I met NeuroSurgeon who prescribed two type of tablets which has solved my back pain and pain in my upper portion of left leg but some numbness has come in my left leg which I observed when I walk. May I know it is a sign of getting well or it is going to be a major problem in future.

Dr. Himani Negi 92% (17370 ratings)
BHMS
Homeopath, Chennai
Sciatica refers to pain that begins in the hip and buttocks and continues all the way down the leg. This condition is often accompanied by low back pain, which can be more or less severe than the leg pain. The term “sciatica” indicates that the sciatic nerve, which travels from the lower back through the buttocks and into the leg, is thought to be the cause of the pain in this condition. True sciatica is a condition that occurs when a herniated lumbar disc compresses one of the contributing roots of the sciatic nerve. This type of low back pain is less common than other causes and conditions that produce back pain. Homeopathy as a natural system of medicine offers distinct advantages to the people who suffer from sciatica. The biggest advantage that homoeopathy offers is that it is able to treat the pain very effectively and is able to rectify the compression or irritation on the sciatic nerve. Another great benefit of using homoeopathy is that along with the treatment of sciatica homoeopathy also aims at strengthening the patient’s constitution in order to prevent further recurrences. Wear and tear phenomena are common for everyone. If you happen to use the bones in one position only all the time or most of the time, then, naturally, that point will suffer more friction loss than other places. If friction loss occurs evenly, people will lose some height only with age. But, if it has not occurred evenly then, more friction loss occurring in one place can damage disc to cause disc degeneration or disc bulge or disc prolapse which can induce sciatica. So, caring position is equally important against medicines to rule out exciting cause or maintaining cause. The goal of treatment should not be aimed only at relief but also to prevent recurrence. Rebounding, recurring attack can be given knock outs, when the reviver counsels the sufferer about correct posture in addition to drugs. In addition, “No more attacks” can be brought easily, when a Homeopath selects and prescribes a right drug constitutionally with detailed analyses of cause, nature of pain, aggravating factors, characteristic symptoms of disease and characteristic symptoms of the sufferer. Homeopathy can provide miraculous relief from this nervous pain without any side-effects by controlling the inflammation and infection of the nerves. Also, Homeopathy can treat paralysis or weakness of the leg by rejuvenating the sciatic nerve. It favours enhancement of neuron regeneration / reduction of disc bulge / ruling out other causes to revive impinged nerve. A homeopathic constitutional treatment will give you a permanent cure naturally You can easily take an online consultation for further treatment guidance and permanent cure without any side effects.
2 people found this helpful

my age is 34 I am suffering with sciatica never problem if I journey 30 km pain will be saviour please tell me solution.

Dr. Vishwas Virmani 94% (16514 ratings)
MPT, BPT
Physiotherapist, Noida
Apply Hot Fomentation twice daily. Avoid bending in front. Postural Correction- Sit Tall, Walk Tall. Extension Exercises x 15 times x twice daily - lying on tummy, take left arm up for 3 seconds, then bring it down, right arm up for 3 seconds, bring down. Bring right leg up, hold for 3 seconds, bring it down. Then right leg up and hold for 3 seconds and bring it down. Repeat twice a day- 10 times. Bhujang Asana -- Lie flat on your stomach, keeping the palms out, bend the neck backward, take a deep breath and while holding it for 6 seconds, raise the chest up. Release breath and relax your body. Repeat the exercise 15 times twice daily.
1 person found this helpful

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