As you grow older, your body starts to deteriorateyouraving you feeling helpless as you can stop your body from getting old. While some people think of old age as being experienced which is true, not everyone likes to be called old they certainly don’t like the side-effects of being experienced. The side-effects may include loss of hair pigment, forgetfulness, loss of agility, arthritis, and osteoporosis et cetera. Among many conditions that plague elders, one of them are sciatica. Before you start treating sciatica, it is advisable if you know more about your opponent. So, let’s start with the basics.
What is sciatica?
The term “sciatica” is believed to be first use during 1451. It was used to describe the pain in lower back. In modern medical science, it actually explains a symptom – any kind of pain along the sciatic nerve pathway is labeled as sciatica. It is also known as Sciatic neuritis, sciatic neuralgia, lumbar radiculopathy. It is a medical disorder in which patients feel pain from their back to lower leg. It usually affects one leg. The pain starts from your pelvic area and goes to the entire length of your leg affecting the back of the leg but it certain cases you may also feel pain on the front of the leg. In addition to pain, numbness is also observed.
Pain and numbness are the primarily observed symptoms. The pain is of shooting type. It happens quickly for a short moment at intervals. In complex cases, loss of bowels and bladder control can occur.
The general cause of sciatica is the compression of any of the three major nerves that are present along the leg that is lumbar nerves, sacral nerves or sciatic nerves. The complex cause of sciatica includes:
- Spinal Disc Herniation – more than 90% of the cases of sciatica are caused by spinal disc herniation. A tear or fractured in spinal disc can result in compression of sacral nerves or lumbar nerves.
- Spinal stenosis –the second most common cause of sciatica is spinal stenosis, it is basically the narrowing of spinal canal caused by bone spurs, inflammation or a herniated disc. As a result, this narrowing of spinal canal puts pressure on spinal cord or sciatic nerve roots.
- Pregnancy –another common cause of sciatica is pregnancy. The fetus in the womb puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, resulting in numbness or pain the leg. It does not directly harm either the mother or the fetus but indirect damage may occur in the form of falling.
Sciatica is studied and treated in the field of orthopedics and neurology. It is mainly treated by pain medicines and physical therapy. It gets better after about six weeks. If it does not disappear, then surgery could be done.
- Pain Medication –NSAIDs and steroids are prescribed at first. If this does not work then, opioids and muscle relaxants are used.
- Surgery –the herniated disc of spinal cord known as discectomy is removed during surgery. While it is perfect for short-term comfort, it may require long-term care after the surgery.