Sciatica (Sciatic Nerve Pain)

What is Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Sciatica (sciatic nerve pain) is a specific type of pain that radiates up and down the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve starts at your lower back, runs through your hips and pelvis, and down your leg. Typically sciatica pain will only affect a single side of the body at once.

Sciatic nerve pain can range from mild to severe, and can resolve itself on its own, or with the help of a medical professional to address the underlying compressed nerve, which ultimately causes the pain.

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Symptoms

Sciatica causes pain that radiates from the lower part of your spine, through the pelvis, and down your leg. In extreme cases, loss of bowel and bladder control can also occur. If you are experiencing pain that exists in this specific format, reaching out to a doctor is a good idea to get the proper treatment and care.

Sciatic pain can vary from a mild ache to a sharp burn to more extreme pain, and it may also feel like an electric jolt. Sneezing, coughing, and even sitting for a long period can exacerbate the symptoms.

Causes and Risk Factors

Sciatica typically occurs when a bone spur (on the spine), spinal stenosis, a herniated disc, or another spinal injury results in compression of the spinal nerve. When the nerve is compressed, it can result in pain, inflammation, numbness, and instability in the afflicted areas. Injuries or trauma can result in an onset of sciatica.

Other common risk factors include age (the older you are, the more likely you are to suffer from sciatica), being overweight (which causes additional stress on your spine), your profession (professions that require heavy lifting can add strain on your body), etc.

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Treatment and Prevention

To lower your risk of sciatica, it’s suggested to exercise regularly to keep your back and core strong and your spine uncompressed, use proper posture when sitting or standing, and make sure not to lift things that are extremely heavy or that put a strain on your back.

Treatment options include medications (such as anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants), physical therapy, pain management procedures and injections, and in the event that non-surgical approaches are unsuccessful, surgery is sometimes recommended.

Takeaway

If you think you might be suffering from sciatic nerve pain, the best thing to do is contact an orthopedic specialist to help. Our team of doctors has years of experience treating this type of pain. Contact us today to set up your consultation in either Hoboken or Jersey City.

Additional Resources:

Sciatica- Mayo Clinic

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