Sciatica & Sciatic Nerve Pain
The term “sciatica” refers to the pain experienced when the sciatic nerve becomes compressed by inflammation or other spinal abnormalities.
Sciatica affects many people. The debilitating pain can ultimately impact your work and personal life, making it difficult to walk and even sleep.
Causes of Sciatica
Lumbar radiculopathy (sciatica) is often a symptom of a larger medical condition.
Some of the common causes of sciatica include:
• Herniated Disc
• Bone Spurs
• Bulging disc
• Pinched nerves
• Lumbar Spinal stenosis
• Degenerative disc disease
A bulging or herniated disc is the most common cause of sciatica. As the disc bears down on the sensitive nerve (usually affecting the L4/L5 or L5/S1 levels), it restricts blood flow and important nutrients from reaching all sections of the sciatic nerve through the lower back, hips, buttocks and down each leg.
When portions of the nerve are deprived of nutrition, they are unable to emit electric impulses in a proper fashion, known as sciatica. When the nerve becomes pinched due to an underlying condition, a number of different sciatica symptoms can occur.
Symptoms of Sciatica
Sciatica usually occurs on only one side of the body and follows the nerve from the low back to the foot and toes. In rare cases, patients experience pain on both sides, also known as bilateral lumbar radiculopathy.
Symptoms of sciatica include:
• Shooting pains
• Sudden stabbing pains
• A burning sensation
In most cases, the level of discomfort changes with position, but constant, chronic pain is also possible.
Beginning with a patient history and thorough physical examination, the sciatica diagnosis may be completed using x-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). During the physical examination, you may be asked to complete some exercises in order to pinpoint the compressed nerve root.
Exercises for Sciatica
You can find some pain relief from sciatica by completing exercises or stretches. Some exercises include:
• Abdominal exercises
• Back extensions
• Leg raises
Specifically, exercise and stretching can help to deal with sciatica. However, these exercises will only provide temporary relief from the pain. It is also important to speak with your doctor before performing any exercises that could worsen your sciatica pain.
Treatment for Sciatica
The Bonati Spine Procedures can provide immediate relief with sciatica treatment, especially if your symptoms of sciatic pain are related to a herniated or bulging lower lumbar intervertebral disc that is compressing one of the nerve roots before it joins the sciatic nerve. When surgery for sciatica is required, The Bonati Spine Procedures are the best alternative to open back surgeries that often result in long recovery time.
Statistics on Sciatica
• Approximately 5 to 10% of all persons with low back pain have sciatica
• Those ages 45-64 are at the greatest risk of suffering from acute sciatica
• Smoking and mental stress can contribute to sciatica pain
• About 90% of sciatica cases are caused by a herniated disc compressing a nerve root
• 20-30% of sciatica suffers have persistent problems after 1-2 years if left untreated
• Sciatica has been reported in nearly 10% of the population
The Bonati Spine Institute encourages patients with sciatica to contact us to request a no-obligation MRI review or discuss your conditions with our medical professionals. Find out why The Bonati Spine Procedures are considered to be among the world’s best solutions when it comes to advanced spine surgery. Your sciatic nerve pain can become a thing of the past.