Sciatica is a symptom, not an illness, that refers to several leg problems that manifest themselves in various ways, ranging from a little cramp to agonizing pain that makes standing or sitting nearly impossible. When you move or even sneeze or cough, the discomfort might worsen. In many situations, sciatica Hamilton patients may experience weakness, numbness, burning, or a tingling ‘pins and needles’ feeling. Also, it might make it difficult to bend the knee or move the foot or toes. A trapped or pinched nerve inside or outside the spinal column can cause sciatica. Other common causes include a slipped disc, a muscle dysfunction in the buttocks, or a constriction or sliding of one of the vertebrae in the spine that is out of line.
Additionally, the soft tissue discs that divide and cushion the vertebrae, the facet joints at the rear of the spinal column, and the network of nerves that populate and surround the spinal region are all thought to have a role in sciatica pain.
Diagnosis of sciatica
If your physician suspects you have sciatica, you will undergo a physical examination so they can assess your reflexes and muscle strength. They may ask you to do certain actions like walking on your heels or toes to find out the source of your discomfort. If you have severe pain, your specialist may request imaging tests to look for bone spurs and herniated disks. You might have the following tests performed:
a. X-ray – To check for bone spurs, you will need an X-ray, which takes photographs of the inside of your body.
b. CT scan – This test integrates a series of X-rays to provide a more detailed view of your spinal cord and nerves.
c. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) – An MRI combines magnets and radio waves to make images of your body to obtain a thorough look at your back and spine.
d. Electromyography (EMG) – An EMG, which analyzes how fast nerve signals flow through your body, is used to screen for problems like a herniated disk.
Is sciatica a long-term condition?
Although sciatica symptoms might be distressing, there is some good news. The great majority of sciatica patients – almost 80% – have their symptoms go away on their own after 90 days. However, if you suffer any of the following symptoms, see a doctor right away. These symptoms necessitate prompt medical treatment since they might indicate a serious or deteriorating disease:
- Pain in your lower back or limbs that comes on suddenly and without warning
- Numbness or severe muscular weakness
- Pain that arises due to a traumatic event, such as a car accident or a fall
- Trouble controlling your bladder or bowels
- Pain that persists for more than 90 days and does not respond to therapy
Sciatica pain indicators can be excruciating, and they should be addressed before they progress to a more serious condition. A doctor can assist you in treating these symptoms, providing pain relief, and preventing them from getting worse. Call Interventional Pain Management or book an appointment today for sciatica assessment.