Lower back pain is a very common and painful condition that roughly 80% of Americans will face at some point in their lifetime. A common reason for lower back pain can be attributed to sciatica nerve pain. Finding the cause of this pain and having a proper exam can lead to a quicker and longer lasting recovery from this painful condition. There are treatment options for sciatica pain in North Scottsdale.
What is Sciatica?
The largest nerve in your body is the sciatic nerve. An injury or irritation to this nerve can cause some obvious issues. It is formed by the nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord into the lower back. The sciatic nerve runs down through the buttock, then the nerve branches down the back of the leg leading to the ankle and foot. Once irritated, this nerve can cause tingling, burning lower back pain that can travel all the way down the leg and even cause numbness. Pain may be felt anywhere along the nerve’s pathway.
What Causes Irritation of the Sciatic Nerve?
The most common cause of irritation of your sciatic nerve is due to a bulging or herniated disc. The bulging disc is often pressing on the nerve roots that lead to the sciatic nerve. Other causes of sciatica may include spinal stenosis, bone spurs, a pinched nerve, arthritis, injury or other other changes in the spine. In some cases, sciatica can be caused by pregnancy or tumors.
What Are The Symptoms of Sciatic Nerve Pain?
When your sciatic nerve is irritated or injured, you might experience a burning sensation in your lower back or buttocks that moves down into the leg.. Weakness, tingling or numbness in the leg have also been reported. You will notice that pain increases when standing or sitting for long periods of time or when the spine is flexed (bringing the knee to the chest). If pain eases up when walking, lying down or extending the spine, sciatica could be the reason for the pain.
How is Sciatica Diagnosed in North Scottsdale?
If the symptoms of sciatica sound familiar to you, a visit to Summa Pain Care in North Scottsdale should be at the top of your list. A physical exam will be performed along with a proper history of your pain will be taken into consideration. In some cases, x-rays or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) might be used to further investigate the cause of pain.
What Are Risk Factors of Sciatica?
There are situations where the incidence of sciatic nerve pain does increase. Age does play a huge factor in developing sciatic nerve pain. Herniated discs and bone spurs that cause sciatica are usually due to age related changes in the spine. Obesity can also cause changes in the spine and unwanted pressure. A sedentary lifestyle can also increase the risk of sciatica compared with people who are more active. Lastly, diabetics are at an increased risk of developing sciatic nerve pain.
What Are My Treatment Options for Sciatica in North Scottsdale?
There are treatment options for sciatica in North Scottsdale, but the key thing to remember is that this type of healing takes patience. Initially, treatment for sciatica nerve pain tends to focus on medication to reduce pain and doing proper exercises, while resting.
Additionally, you may want to focus on alleviating pain by avoiding sitting in positions that put pressure on the nerve. It may also be helpful to alternate between lying down and taking short walks. Over-the-counter pain reducers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen might also take the edge off. Lastly, applying heat or a cold pack to the affected area could be helpful depending on the situation.
When the pain is advanced, your healthcare provider may suggest other treatment options. This could include physical therapy, transcutaneous nerve stimulators (TENS units), injections of steroids or stronger pain medications like opioids.
As with many types of back pain, often a bit of patience, time, and rest will help alleviate the pain. However, if any of the following more severe symptoms happen, contacting a doctor immediately is vital:
- Difficulty controlling your bladder
- Difficulty controlling your bowels
- Muscle weakness
- Severe pain following a violent injury
Final Thoughts on Sciatica Pain and Treatment Options in North Scottsdale
Lower back pain is very common and often results from sciatic nerve pain. It can be a long road to recovery, but treatment options for sciatic are available in North Scottsdale. If you are experiencing sciatica, you should have a discussion with your healthcare provider regarding treatment options and a long term plan.
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