Sciatica is described as pain ranging from mild to severe triggered by an irritation of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can also be caused by a compressed nerve in the lower spinal cord. This sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the entire body and is formed by the combination of five nerve roots in the sacral spine and lumbar. The nerve controls a number of muscles in the lower legs and supplies sensitivity to most parts of the lower leg. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of having your sciatica problem checked at the Bayonne Pain Center of NJ.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Below are some of the most common symptoms of sciatica?
- Loss of bladder control and bowel
- Weakness or numbness in your buttock, feet, lower back, or leg
- A “pin and needle” sensation in your feet, toes, or legs
- Mild to severe pain in the buttock, lower back, and lower leg
- Pain that worsens with movement
The following are some of the well-known risk factors associated with sciatica:
- Prolonged sitting. Sitting for a long time or living a sedentary lifestyle greatly increases your risk of developing sciatica.
- Obesity. People with excessive body weight tend to exert more pressure on their spinal cord, damaging the spine and resulting in sciatica.
- Diabetes. This is a medical condition that affects the way your body controls its blood sugar levels and can increase your risk of sciatica.
- Age. The occurrence of age-related bone spurs and herniated discs can also trigger sciatica.
- Occupation. A job that requires you to carry heavy loads, drive a motor vehicle or twist your back repeatedly might increase your risk for sciatica.
How is sciatica diagnosed?
Depending on what your practitioner discovers after your physical examination, X-ray imaging and other medical tests might have to be ordered. These include:
- Electromyography or Nerve conduction velocity studies. This is used to evaluate how well electrical impulses respond to your body muscles and travel through the sciatic nerve.
- Spinal X-rays. This helps look for infections, bone spurs, tumors, and spinal infections.
- Myelogram. This helps determine if the disk or vertebrae is the main cause of the pain.
- Computed tomography scans or Magnetic resonance imaging. This helps see clear images of the soft tissues and bones of the back.
Most patients dealing with sciatica feel relieved within a few weeks by taking over-the-counter pain-relieving medicines like naproxen sodium and ibuprofen, but they usually provide a short-term solution. Doctors often recommend some home remedies like placing ice packs on your lower back for some days and later substituting them with hot packs for a couple of days. Healthcare providers also advise people with sciatica to increase their movement activities, as it helps relieve your nerves from irritation and inflammation. If these home remedies fail to work, your doctor may prescribe a stronger medication, such as muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatories.
Dr. Ira Siege, MD, and the skilled pain management team at Pain Center of NJ are well trained and experienced in treating patients dealing with sciatica pain. They also provide minimally invasive interventional therapies and non-surgical treatment solutions to guarantee long-term relief from sciatica pain. Get started today by calling 201-617-8600 to schedule an appointment or visit any of our offices in Bayonne, Ridgefield, Union, Edison, West Orange and New Jersey.