What is Sciatica ?
Sciatica is a back pain caused due to the the sciatic nerve. This nerve branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Usually sciatica affects only one side of your body. Although pain due to sciatica can be severe, most cases can resolve within a few weeks.
Symptoms of Sciatica
Pain that extends from your lower spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg is the main symptom of sciatica. You might feel uneasy almost anywhere along the nerve pathway.
The pain can vary widely, from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating pain. Sometimes it can feel like a jolt or electric shock. It worsens when you cough or sneeze.
Some patients also have symptoms of numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in the affected leg. You might have pain in one part of your leg and numbness in another part.
How is Sciatica diagnosed
During the physical exam, your doctor may check your muscle strength and reflexes. You may be asked to walk on your toes or heels or rise from a squatting position. Pain due to sciatica will usually worsen during the activities.
An X Ray may reveal bone overgrowth that may be pressing on a nerve.
An MRI produces detailed images of bone and soft tissues such as herniated disks. During this test, you lie on a table that moves into the MRI machine.
When a CT is used to image the spine, a contrast dye may be injected into your spinal canal before the X Rays are taken. The dye then circulates around your spinal cord and nerves, which appear white on the scan.
This test measures the electrical impulses produced by the nerves and the response of your muscles. This test can confirm nerve compression caused by herniated disks or narrowing of your spinal canal.
Treatment for Sciatica
Your doctor may suggest some of the following treatments –
These are the kind of drugs that the doctors might prescribe for you for sciatica pain treatment –
- Anti – Inflammatories
- Muscle Relaxants
- Tricyclic Anti-depressants
- Anti-seizure medications
Once the patients condition is fine the doctor can design a rehab program to help prevent future injuries. This usually includes exercises to correct one’s posture and improve one’s flexibility.
Corticosteroids help reduce pain by suppressing inflammation around the irritated nerve. The effects usually wear off in a few months. The number of steroid injections you can receive is limited because the risks of serious side effects increases when injections occur too frequently.
Surgeons can remove the bone spur that’s pressing on the pinched nerve. This option is generally reserved for when the compressed nerve causes significant weakness or when you have pain that progressively worsens or doesn’t improve with other therapies.
Sciatica Consultation in Singapore
We at Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic do help with sciatica treatment so please feel free to contact us. We are located at a convenient place in Central Part of Singapore at Gleneagles Medical Centre. Our specialists have more than 20 years of experience in this field.