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Tingling, numbness, and leg weakness? Sciatica treatment may be needed

Sciatica TreatmentRecognize need for sciatica treatment photo by Laura Mason / CC 2.0

Have a sudden onset of leg pain, tinging, numbness, or weakness? You might think you just pulled a muscle, but you may actually need sciatica treatment. Sciatica is often hard to diagnose because the symptoms can be different from person to person, and can masquerade as other injuries.

“Pain or numbness due to sciatica can vary widely,” said the New York Times.” It may feel like a mild tingling, dull ache, or a burning sensation. In some cases, the pain is severe enough to cause immobility.”

Seeing a back doctor is important if you experience any of those symptoms. Ignoring them or self-diagnosing instead of getting sciatica treatment can lead to increased and ongoing pain.

What is Sciatica

“Sciatica refers to back pain caused by a problem with the sciatic nerve,” said WebMD. “This is a large nerve that runs from the lower back down the back of each leg. When something injures or puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, it can cause pain in the lower back that spreads to the hip, buttocks, and leg.”

The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated or ruptured disk, a common back problem that causes pain for thousands of people every year. Sciatica can also be caused by spinal stenosis, especially for people over 60 years old. Another common cause of sciatica may be surprising to some people, and tends to affect more men than women.

“You might not think of too much cash as a source of pain, but a fat wallet can trigger piriformis syndrome,” said WebMD. “The condition can affect men who wear their wallet in the back pocket of their pants. This puts chronic pressure on the piriformis muscle and can aggravate the sciatic nerve over time. You can avoid this problem by keeping your wallet in a front pocket or jacket pocket.”

The great news for those suffering with sciatica pain is that, most people’s symptoms resolve within a few days or weeks with minimally invasive sciatica treatments for back pain, and there is no lasting pain or damage.

What are some common sciatica treatments

Sciatica treatment can be as easy as alternating heat and ice for some patients. Over-the-counter pain medication, particularly anti-inflammatories, can provide temporary relief, and stretching and low-impact walking is often advised by leading spine doctors because motion can help to reduce existing inflammation and help with pain, if it’s kept to low-impact exercises. Prevention gives swimming and water aerobics high marks because, “There’s not as much pressure on the back when you’re in the water.”

Steroid injections are another popular treatment for sciatica if the condition is not improving. “If the pain is severe, an epidural steroid injection can reduce inflammation. Unlike oral medications, an injection goes directly into the painful area around the sciatic nerve to address the inflammation that may be causing pain,” they said.

Surgery for sciatica

“Up to 90 percent of people recover from sciatica without surgery,” said WebMD. But, for that 10 percent who are still in extreme pain, minimally invasive surgery is often recommended. Your back doctor may set a time period of four to six weeks to review your progress before discussing surgical options for sciatica in depth.

If you’re ready to consider minimally invasive surgical treatments for your sciatica pain or if you want more information about treatment options, contact DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate chronic back pain. Minimally invasive procedures mean treating chronic back pain is easier than ever, with outpatient treatments and easier surgical treatments with small incisions and a quicker recovery time instead of a long hospital stay.

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