Sciatica is a type of pain that is caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and runs from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down the legs. When this nerve is compromised, it can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the lower back, buttocks, and legs.
Sciatica is typically caused by a herniated disc in the lower back, although other conditions such as spinal stenosis or piriformis syndrome can also cause sciatica. A herniated disc occurs when the inner core of the disc bulges or ruptures through the outer layer, pressing on the sciatic nerve and causing pain.
Symptoms of sciatica may include lower back pain, pain that radiates down the leg, numbness or tingling in the leg or foot, and difficulty standing or walking for long periods of time. The pain may be acute (sudden and severe) or chronic (long-lasting).
Diagnosis of sciatica is typically done through a physical examination, imaging tests (such as an MRI or CT scan), and a review of the patient’s medical history. Treatment options may include medications to manage pain and inflammation, physical therapy, interventional procedures such as epidural injections or nerve blocks, and in some cases, surgery to remove the herniated disc or address the underlying cause of the sciatica.
It is important to speak with a healthcare professional if you are experiencing lower back pain or other symptoms that may be related to sciatica. Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening. Overall, sciatica is a common condition that can be effectively managed with proper care.
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