06/12/2009 - Questions and Answers

I am searching for respite from Sciatica Pain

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Question

I have been troubled with sciatica for several months and can get no respite from the pain, or any satisfaction form my doctor. Can you please help me?

 

Answer

You mention that you have sciatica, but do not inform what the cause is. Because of this you would be well advised to talk with your own doctor, have your symptoms investigated and if necessary, be referred to the appropriate specialist for treatment to ease your pain. We can help you understand more about this condition and respective causes, which may help you in further consultations.
 

To clarify medical terminology, the term sciatica is often used very broadly to describe any form of pain that radiates into the leg. However, this is not technically correct. True sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched or irritated and the pain along the sciatic nerve is caused by this nerve (radicular pain). When the pain is referred to the leg from a joint problem (called referred pain), using the term sciatica is not technically correct. This type of referred pain (e.g. from arthritis or other joint problems) is quite common. Thus the importance of a clear diagnosis to start with.
 

The large sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down the back of each leg- is a relatively common form of low back pain and /or leg pain. Sciatica is a symptom of a problem at some point along the sciatic nerve rather than an ailment in and of itself. This pain along the sciatic nerve can be caused when a root that helps form the sciatic nerve is pinched or irritated. For some people, the pain from sciatica can be severe and debilitating. For others, the pain from sciatica might be infrequent and irritating, but has the potential to get worse. Usually, sciatica only affects one side of the lower body, and the pain often radiates from the lower back all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the leg. Depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected, the pain may also radiate to the foot or toes.
 

Often a particular event or injury does not cause sciatica, but rather it may develop as a result of general wear and tear on the structures of the lower spine. The vast majority of people who experience sciatica get better with time (usually a few weeks or months) and find pain relief with non-surgical treatments. Specific exercisescan also be beneficial, although importantly, the first step is to have the cause diagnosed, as the possibility of your pain being 'referred pain' from a joint problem would need to be out ruled.. The links below provide further information for you.
 

Related Links
Sciatica
Exercises for sciatica and herniated disc
SpineUniverse.com

Created on: 12/12/2006
Reviewed on: 06/12/2009

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