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Sciatica Health Feed

When Should You Consider Undergoing Surgery for Sciatica?

Dr. Vikas Bhardwaj 83% (10 ratings)
MS - General Surgery, MCh - Neuro Surgery, MBBS
Neurosurgeon, Greater Noida
When Should You Consider Undergoing Surgery for Sciatica?

Sciatica pain can be mild to intense. Many with lumbar herniated disc and sciatica often wonder whether or not they require a surgery. Needless to say, it is never an easy decision. But the good news is that micro discectomy surgery has a higher rate of success when it comes to relieving sciatica pain. When compared to many other options, this one is relatively minimally invasive. It doesn’t alter the structure of the spine permanently since it works by removing a small portion of the disc, which has herniated or extruded out of the disc.

When your sciatica pain stems from lumbar disc herniation, a small open surgery with the help of magnification is the prevalently opted surgical approach. On the other hand, a laminectomy is done when the bone or disc pinching the nerve root is required to be removed.

When should you consider undergoing surgery for sciatica?
Typically, neurosurgeons recommend considering surgery for sciatica in a host of situations which include the following:

  1. Severe pain in the leg lingering for more than six weeks, which mainly affects one side of the leg or buttock
  2. Intense pain in the low back and buttock, which continues through the course of the sciatic nerve andextends to the lower leg and even foot. This pain can be described as sharp and searing rather than a dull thud.
  3. When pain has not alleviated even after non-surgical treatments that may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs),oral steroids, injections, manual manipulations, and physical therapy
  4. When the patient is not able to take part in the day to day activities due to intense lower back pain and the symptoms tend to become severe during movements like sneeze and cough.
  5. When the symptoms are continuing to worsen, thereby indicating nerve damage, particularly when the progressive signs have their root in neurological issues
  6. It is important to note here that surgical intervention may only be needed when the patient experiences progressive weakness in the lower portion of the body or sudden loss of bladder or bowel movement, which may stem from cauda equina syndrome. Two surgeries, namely lumbar laminectomy and microdiscectomy are performed on the basis of the cause as well as the duration of the sciatica pain.
  7. In some cases, the symptoms are unique on the basis of the underlying causes of sciatica. For instance, trying to bend the body backward or walking a longer distance than normal may trigger unbearable symptoms. On the other hand, when the affected individual tries to bend the body forward, it can lead to symptoms stemming from the lumbar herniated disc.
  8. In case sciatica occurs after an accident, injury or trauma, or if it happens in tandem with other symptoms, then it requires an immediate medical attention.

Thus, choosing to go for a surgery depends on several factors that only your doctor can assess and decide upon.

1 person found this helpful

I am suffering from sciatica from last 5-6 days. There is excessive pain from back to leg. I have tried may preventive measures like using hot bag, medicines etc but nothing is helping. Please suggest me how will I reduce pain.

Dr. Lokesh Kumar Sharma 89% (98 ratings)
MBBS, D - Ortho, DNB - Orthopaedic Surgery, MNAMS, Fellowship Advanced Spine Surgery, Fellowship Disc Replacement Surgery, Visiting Spine Fellowship, Visiting Fellowship Spine Deformity Correction, Felloship Minimal Inavsive Spine Surgery
Orthopedist, Jaipur
I am suffering from sciatica from last 5-6 days.
There is excessive pain from back to leg. I have tried may preventiv...
Get a x Ray of lumbar spine done and start tab durapain twice a day and tab maxgallin ER 75 mg at night Time.
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Are there any remedies for sciatica. Or any leg disease's leading to vein shrinking of legs and causing immense pain.

Dr. Pankaj Das 87% (153 ratings)
Master of Physiotherapy, Bachelor in Physiotherapy
Physiotherapist, Guwahati
Are there any remedies for sciatica. Or any leg disease's leading to vein shrinking of legs and causing immense pain.
Hi sciatica pain can be cured by locating where sciatic nerve is entraped. It can be treated by manual therapy and neural Mobilization technique. Doing very specific Exercises and stretching can easily treat the condition.
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Sciatica - Exercises For It!

Dr. Gaurav Tyagi 92% (141 ratings)
BPT, MPT- Ortho
Physiotherapist, Gurgaon
Sciatica - Exercises For It!

The sciatic nerve is one of the largest nerves in the body. It goes from the lower back all the way down to the base of the leg. When there is a disorder associated with the sciatic nerve, it is known as Sciatica. 

Sciatica, however, does not necessarily need a surgery or a very elaborate procedure to fix the problem. Most commonly, it is treated simply by practicing a number of simple exercises. Here are some of the most common exercises prescribed to treat Sciatica:

  1. Reclining Pigeon Pose: There are three main forms of the pigeon pose. These are sitting, reclining and then forwarding. It is recommended that if you have very recently started your treatment for Sciatica, then certainly you should go for the reclining pose. In this pose, you are supposed to hold your left leg in the air at a right angle to your back. Then, hold your ankle against the knee. Finally, repeat this stretch with the right leg as well.
  2. Knee to Opposite Shoulder: In this stretch, the starting position is on your back side. You have to have your legs out and feet upwards. From this position, try to bring your right leg towards your left shoulder. Hold this for 30 seconds and then release and relax. Repeat this activity three times and repeat the whole procedure with your other leg. Only take your leg as far as it goes.
  3. Sitting Spinal Stretch: At the start of this exercise, sit on the ground with your legs going straight outwards and your feet flexed in the upward direction. Pull your left knee and put it on the outside of your right knee. Finally, place your right elbow on the left knee, so that your body turns to the left. Hold for 30 seconds and then relax. Repeat the procedure with the other knee.
  4. Standing Hamstring Stretch: Put your foot on an elevated surface such that it is above the floor, but not above hip level. Flex your toes forward such that your feet and legs are nearly in a straight line. Bend as far towards the foot as possible. However, do not stretch so far that you feel pain. Finally, repeat this procedure on the other side after release.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4783 people found this helpful

Sciatica - How Ayurveda Is The Safest Treatment Option?

Dr. Ramesh Rai 89% (259 ratings)
Graduate of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (GAMS)
Ayurveda, Delhi
Sciatica - How Ayurveda Is The Safest Treatment Option?

Sciatica is a painful condition in which the sciatic nerve of the legs gets affected. It is also associated with the lower back pain and can aggravate to such an extent that the gait and the posture of a person can drastically reduce. Though there are conventional methods and medications to treat the condition, ancient Ayurveda offers the best solution in treating the symptoms. Let us take a look at how the ancient wisdom can successfully keep the condition of sciatica under check.

Ayurveda for Sciatica
As per Ayurveda system of medicine, the condition of sciatica was termed as Gridhrasi. This is because the patient's gait is altered due to the intensity of the leg and gets slightly curved due to pain. As a result of this, his walk resembles that of a vulture (Gridhra). Many factors lead to sciatica, most common ones being that the person bends the body at unreal angles and sitting for a prolonged period. Other factors can include accidents or physical trauma due to an injury and old age. In some rare cases, infections and tumors can cause exertion on the sciatic nerve, and this can lead to sciatica.

How Ayurveda Heals
Ayurveda generally categorizes the diseases by the doshas and sciatica is caused by vitiated Vata (one of the primary doshas in the body which is responsible for the movement and functionality of the body). Sometimes even Kapha, a dosha responsible for lubrication and bodily fluids can also cause sciatica. The fundamental principle in an Ayurvedic treatment focuses on restoring the imbalances in the doshas. It effectively channelizes the treatment from the roots. It consists of three methods in the eradication of sciatica. The first one is the elimination of accumulated toxic products in the body followed by the correction and rejuvenation of the body.

Diet too plays a significant role and certain foods like fried foods, pulses and beans should be completely avoided. Patients also need to get his rest only on a hard bed during the treatment cycle, and gentle leg exercises can be done along with the medications. There are certain therapies like Abyanga swedam, Pathrapotali swedam (Elakizhi), Sarvangadhara (Pizhichil), Kadeevasthy, Navarakizhi that are done to relieve the pain. The most important of all is the Vasti treatment to cure sciatica permanently. These therapies focus mostly on reducing the inflammatory changes and underlying causes of Sciatica, thereby strengthening and nourishing the entire spine & supporting tissues. The treatment cycle usually lasts 4 – 5 weeks.

Ayurveda is safe
The biggest advantage of an Ayurvedic treatment method is that it is extremely safe and that there are no side effects. It effectively acts as a detox thus getting rid of the harmful substances from the body along with curing the symptoms. Ayurveda can be effectively used for treating Sciatica and keep the condition from reoccurring.

I am having pain in my left foot from 2-3 days and its starts from my back above hips and goes to the digits (toe tip) also in backside of knee. My father is suffering from Sciatica from 1995. And some how I feel that the same thing in my case. Please tell me what should I have to do. I used diclofenac gels.

Dr. Govind J Purohit Purohit 89% (20 ratings)
MS- Ortho, DNB
Orthopedist, Ahmedabad
I am having pain in my left foot from 2-3 days and its starts from my back above hips and goes to the digits (toe tip...
Your complaints appear genuine you should consult your orthopedic doctor, go for MRI and furhter treatment accordingly. But start improving diet posture habits with less stress and milk etc.
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I have severe pain in my back. I have do physiotherapy. It relaxes more. The problem is sciatica nerves. Is it curable by medicines or not.

Dr. Julie Mercy J David 88% (8924 ratings)
Erasmus Mundus Master in Adapted Physical Activity, MPT, BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Chennai
I have severe pain in my back. I have do physiotherapy. It relaxes more. The problem is sciatica nerves. Is it curabl...
No need medicines, you can do this exercises. Exercise Sciatic nerve pain 1. Reclining pigeon pose Pigeon pose is a common yoga pose. It works to open the hips. There are multiple versions of this stretch. The first is a starting version known as the reclining pigeon pose. If you are just starting your treatment, you should try the reclining pose first. 1.While on your back, bring your right leg up to a right angle. Clasp both hands behind the thigh, locking your fingers. 2.Lift your left leg and place your right ankle on top of the left knee. 3.Hold the position for a moment. This helps stretch the tiny piriformis muscle, which sometimes becomes inflamed and presses against the sciatic nerve, causing pain. 4.Do the same exercise with the other leg. Once you can do the reclining version without pain, work with your physical therapist on the sitting and forward versions of pigeon pose. 2. Sitting pigeon pose 1.Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out straight in front of you. 2.Bend your right leg, putting your right ankle on top of the left knee. 3.Lean forward and allow your upper body to reach toward your thigh. 4.Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. This stretches the glutes and lower back. 5.Repeat on the other side. 3. Forward pigeon pose 1.Kneel on the floor on all fours. 2.Pick up your right leg and move it forward on the ground in front of your body. Your lower leg should be on the ground, horizontal to the body. Your right foot should be in front of your right knee while your right knee stays to the right. 3.Stretch the left leg out all the way behind you on the floor, with the top of the foot on the ground and toes pointing back. 4.Shift your body weight gradually from your arms to your legs so that your legs are supporting your weight. Sit up straight with your hands on either side of your legs. 5.Take a deep breath. While exhaling, lean your upper body forward over your front leg. Support your weight with your arms as much as possible. 6.Repeat on the other side. 4. Knee to opposite shoulder This simple stretch helps relieve sciatica pain by loosening your gluteal and piriformis muscles, which can become inflamed and press against the sciatic nerve. 1.Lie on your back with your legs extended and your feet flexed upward. 2.Bend your right leg and clasp your hands around the knee. 3.Gently pull your right leg across your body toward your left shoulder. Hold it there for 30 seconds. Remember to pull your knee only as far as it will comfortably go. You should feel a relieving stretch in your muscle, not pain. 4.Push your knee so your leg returns to its starting position. 5.Repeat for a total of 3 reps, and then switch legs. 5. Sitting spinal stretch Sciatica pain is triggered when vertebrae in the spine compress. This stretch helps create space in the spine to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. 1.Sit on the ground with your legs extended straight out with your feet flexed upward. 2.Bend your right knee and place your foot flat on the floor on the outside of your opposite knee. 3.Place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee to help you gently turn your body toward the right. 4.Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times, then switch sides. 6. Standing hamstring stretch This stretch can help ease pain and tightness in the hamstring caused by sciatica. 1.Place your right foot on an elevated surface at or below your hip level. This could be a chair, ottoman, or step on a staircase. Flex your foot so your toes and leg are straight. If your knee tends to hyperextend, keep a slight bend in it. 2.Bend your body forward slightly toward your foot. The further you go, the deeper the stretch. Do not push so far that you feel pain. 3.Release the hip of your raised leg downward as opposed to lifting it up. If you need help easing your hip down, loop a yoga strap or long exercise band over your right thigh and under your left foot. 4.Hold for at least 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side. If you have low back pain and sciatica you can undergo intermittent pelvic traction where in your half of your body weight will be added in the electronic traction so that that would help you to reduce the pain, along with Interferential therapy stimulations which would help you to get relieved from the radiating pain. Apply ice for the pain to get subsided immediately. If you cannot go immediately for the physiotherapy treatment. Ice can be kept in the low back where you have back pain. It is suggestible to wear Lumbo sacral belt which would help you to build the abdominal muscle tone which itself would make you feel better. You can also wear MCR chappals which would help you to have less weight falling in the painful back. U have to take vitamin D RICH FOODS. Like milk, cheese,yogurt, brocoli,spinach. U need calcium consumption for increase the bone density.
1 person found this helpful
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Treating Sciatica The Homeopathic Way - Is It Possible?

BHMS, MD - Homeopathy
Homeopath, Rajkot
Treating Sciatica The Homeopathic Way - Is It Possible?

The longest nerve in the body is the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve starts from the lower part of the spine, through your hip to the back of the leg. So when it is said sciatica, we refer to pain in this nerve. Since the nerve covers the spine, hip and leg, sciatic pain is felt in the areas through which it passes. The lower leg muscles and sensation in the legs, thighs and feet are controlled by this nerve.

Symptoms usually include:

  1. Pain that radiates from the lower back to the hip and to the leg
  2. Sharp, tingling, dull, constant or burning pain
  3. Loss of bladder or bowel control
  4. Sneezing or coughing increases pain
  5. Moving the leg gets difficult so usual activities like walking, sitting and standing become painful

Homeopathic remedies are easy and gentle on the body. Homeopathy aims to boost the body's immune system so it can fight all its weaknesses. The following remedies may prove to be useful:

  1. Ammonium Muriaticum: It is taken for chronic pain in the heel or for chronic backache or when straightening the knee gets difficult as hamstrings contract. It is also taken for limping.
  2. Bellis Perennis: In periosteum injuries, stiffness and deep aches in the spine Bellis Perennis is used. It is also used for tailbone injuries. It is also helpful for nerve pains during pregnancy.
  3. Calcarea Fluorica: If the vertebra degenerates after trauma to the spine, then Calcarea Fluorica can be useful.
  4. Cicuta: The worst back injuries with serious trauma and muscles spasms are treated with Cicuta.
  5. Hypericum: Hypericum is suggested for tailbone injuries, temporary paralysis, spinal concussions and for sharp pain that tingles and moves upwards.
  6. Rhus tox: If after lifting weights, overexerting muscles and exposure to anything wet, you feel tearing and burning pain, then Rhus tox is beneficial. Cramps that get better after heat application, but get worse after exposed to the cold are also treated with Rhus tox.
  7. Ruta: Stiffness and pain from back injuries, twisting the wrong way and bruises are prescribed with Ruta.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3171 people found this helpful

Mam, tell me what to do and don't during sciatica? And also is psytherophy is helpful in removing the sciatica? Mam if my doctor will tell me to do operation than what I will do?

Dr. Sapna Diwaker 91% (59 ratings)
MPT - Orthopedic Physiotherapy
Physiotherapist, Dehradun
Mam, tell me what to do and don't during sciatica?
And also is psytherophy is helpful in removing the sciatica?
Mam i...
Hi. Rest. Do hot fomentation twice daily. Avoid prolonged standing and sitting. Avoid forward bending and lifting weights. Start gentle back exercises under guidance of an experienced physiotherapist. Physiotherapy is very much useful in sciatica pain. TC.
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