Sciatica is a painful condition caused by pressure on or injury to the sciatic nerve. Spreading from the lower back down each leg, the sciatic nerve affects the hips, buttocks, and legs. This nerve can become pinched or irritated by an inflamed spinal disc or bone spur, causing steady pain from the lower back or hip down into the leg.
Common and treatable, sciatica generally only affects one side of the body, but can be very frustrating and uncomfortable. You may experience a tightness or tingling down one leg that worsens with long periods of sitting, coughing, or other sudden movements. These symptoms can last from several days to several weeks or more.
Sciatica differs from typical back pain in the area affected. While back pain from straining or overuse is localized and acute, sciatica pain travels from the lower back down the entire leg into the foot, and can make the affected leg feel weak or numb. It tends to be more of a constant throbbing feeling than that of back pain.
Sciatica can develop from any added pressure on the sciatic nerve. It often begins suddenly and unexpectedly, and there may be no direct or specific cause. Some of the more common reasons include:
How do I know if I have sciatica?
A physical exam is usually necessary to diagnose sciatica. Your doctor will inquire about the origination, location, and duration of your pain, and ask you to perform several muscle movements to evaluate the reaction of the sciatic nerve.
You may also receive imaging tests, MRI or CT scan, to show alignment and any pressure on your spinal cord and nerves.
The specialists at Oklahoma Pain Center can help determine if you have sciatica. If you have been suffering from constant, throbbing pain in your buttocks, hip, or leg, call our offices today at (405) 752-9600 to schedule an appointment.
Sciatica rarely requires surgical treatment and generally subsides within a few weeks. While sciatica is not usually remedied quickly, a variety of self-care activities, like stretching and light exercise, can help improve mobility, blood flow, and muscle function and get you feeling better sooner. If you have been diagnosed with sciatica, your physician may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
The health professionals at Oklahoma Pain Center are committed to reducing your pain and improving your quality of life. Our specialists can determine if you have sciatica and help develop a holistic plan to get your body moving comfortably again. Call us today at (405) 752-9600 to schedule your appointment.