Sciatica can significantly impact your quality of life due to its debilitating effects on mobility and daily activities. It mostly causes symptoms on your lower back and progresses towards your buttocks and down to your legs. If you are experiencing any symptoms associated with sciatica, consult a Dayton sciatica specialist to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to help manage your condition. Since sciatica is a degenerative disease, it can worsen over time and cause severe mobility issues. Therefore, seek immediate medical attention when you develop unusual painful symptoms in your back. This article will discuss what you should know about sciatica, including its causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment options.
What Is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a condition that affects the sciatic nerve, which is located on your lower back and runs down through the buttocks and legs. It can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected area. An untreated and progressed sciatica condition can cause severe symptoms that require immediate medical attention, such as fever, blood in urine, swelling, and redness in your spine.
What Are the Common Causes of Sciatica Pain?
Anything structurally affecting or compressing the sciatic nerve can cause sciatica symptoms. Common causes of sciatica include a herniated or lumbar disc and other conditions such as pregnancy or diabetes. Lumbar spinal stenosis can also cause these sciatica symptoms in older adults.
The relative misalignment of one vertebra relative to another can also cause sciatica symptoms. Additionally, inflammation of the pelvic muscles can affect the lumbar or sacral nerve roots and cause sciatica symptoms.
Are There Different Types of Sciatica?
Four types of sciatica often cause different types of pain. They include acute, chronic, bilateral, alternating, and wallet sciatica. The most common types of sciatica include acute and chronic sciatica. Acute sciatica causes short-lived symptoms of about six to eight weeks. It is usually less severe and responds well to conservative treatments.
Chronic sciatica causes persistent pain that lasts longer than eight weeks. This type of sciatica is also non-responsive to conservative treatments and often requires more advanced therapy. Alternating and bilateral sciatica are rare and often affect both legs alternately and at the same time, respectively.
What Are the Best Ways To Prevent Sciatica Pain?
You can reduce your risk of developing sciatica by maintaining a good posture, staying active, adjusting to healthy lifestyle habits, and protecting yourself against falls. However, it is important to note that not all sources of sciatica are preventable.
Also, to prevent the development of sciatica, avoid prolonged bed rest. When lying down, your back muscles weaken, and sciatica pain increases due to spine compression.
What Are the Most Effective Ways To Treat Sciatica Pain?
Most cases of sciatica do not require surgery. However, if your sciatica is causing severe weakness, loss of bowel and bladder control, or pain that does not improve with other treatments, your doctor might recommend spine surgery.
Conservative treatments can relieve pain, inflammation, and pressure on your nerve roots. However, consult your doctor if these treatments fail to relieve your pain. Your healthcare provider can identify the cause of your pain, suggest other treatment options, or refer you to a spine specialist.
Sciatica often causes painful and uncomfortable symptoms. It might or might not last long, depending on the type of sciatica you are ailing from. However, with the advanced treatment options, you can get relief and lead a comfortable, normal life.
Getting a proper diagnosis for your sciatica symptoms is also a great step in getting the right treatment. Please consult your doctor on various diagnosis tools that can effectively help you determine the severity of your symptoms and what might be causing them.