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Breaking Free From Sciatica

Breaking Free From Sciatica: Embrace A Life Of Comfort

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Nerve pain is common that occurs most often due to injury, overexertion, or any underlying medical condition. Sciatica is a unique type of nerve pain that is caused most often due to poor inflammation, and compression of nerves. 

The Garden State pain control team specializes in treating complex pain conditions, especially those involving your nerves like sciatica. 

An insight into sciatica

Sciatica is a type of nerve pain that occurs due to an injury or irritation to the sciatic nerve. This is the longest and the thickest nerve in your body. It is actually a collection or bundle of nerves that run through each leg, beginning beside your lower spine, passing through your buttocks and into your leg before ending in your foot. 

Potential causes of sciatica

Common conditions that can cause sciatica include:

  • Injuries
  • Pregnancy
  • Tumors, and cysts
  • Herniated discs
  • Degenerative disc disease 
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Osteoarthritis

Risk factors for sciatica 

  • Aging due to wear and tear
  • History of the previous injury
  • Obesity
  • Insufficient core strength
  • Sitting for long hours
  • Diabetes
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Certain occupations involving heavy lifting, or driving for long hours 
  • Tobacco use 

Symptoms associated with sciatica

Sciatica symptoms include the following:

  • Severe sharp, shooting pain that often radiates down the leg on the affected side
  • Pain can worsen during sneezing, coughing, or sitting for long periods
  • Tingling sensation (a feeling of pins and needles), also known as paresthesia
  • Numbness in your lower back of leg
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fecal or urinary incontinence 

Investigations to diagnose sciatica

Several investigative tests can detect sciatica and rule out other similar conditions. The most common tests include:

  • Spinal X-rays
  • CT (Computed Tomography) scans 
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
  • Nerve conduction velocity studies
  • Electromyography
  • Myelogram

Intervention strategies for sciatica

It is essential to detect and treat sciatica, since if left untreated it can lead to permanent nerve damage. Treatment depends on the cause and severity of the symptoms. Your doctor may recommend the following modalities:

Conservative therapy

  • Dietary changes 
  • Weight management 
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Posture improvement strategies 
  • Medications (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy to strengthen core muscles 

Minimally invasive therapy

  • Lumbar interlaminar epidural steroid injections delivered directly inside your spinal canal
  • Lumbar facet block injections that target pinched nerves 
  • Lumbar radiofrequency ablation which deactivates the the nerve transmitting pain signals to your brain 
  • Spinal cord stimulation which aids in disrupting the pain communication between your nerve and brain, through electric current 

Summary 

Sciatica pain can be excruciating that disrupts your life in many ways. Mild forms can be managed through conservative methods while severe forms are treatable through minimally invasive procedures. 

With prompt treatment you can put sciatica behind you and return to living on your terms. 

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