Understanding Sciatica: Could Your Back Pain be Something More? 

 August 1, 2016

By  Gabriela

Did you know that 50% of adult working people in the USA experience back pain every year? However, is it possible that this discomfort and pain is actually a sign of something else?

A few days ago we have received an email from one of our readers. The woman informed us that her husband experiences back pain in the lower part of the back for many years now and he finally decided to take physical therapy. He was diagnosed with sciatica. So, she wanted to learn more about sciatica and the treatment options her husband has.

For those who didn’t know, sciatica is a term used to describe a condition in which compression and irritation has an impact on the sciatic nerve. This large nerve starts at the spinal cord and goes down to the hips, legs, and buttocks.

According to Dr. Febin Melepura, an expert in pain working for the Stanford Pain and Sports Medicine in NYC, in order to determine whether you are dealing with sciatica or lower back pain, you must determine on the source.

Only 1% of all patients who experience low back pain actually have sciatica. Sciatica produces pain that is felt in one of our legs or both of them while low back pain is a type of pain that is concentrated only in the area right above the gluteal fold and under the lower rib.

In many cases, the pain that comes from sciatica comes as a result of a bone spur or a herniated disk which puts pressure on the nerves. The vast majority of patients describe this pain as a burning, sharp sensation, or mild pain. Muscles weakness in one or both legs and numbness in this area are two other symptoms.

Some risk factors that contribute to the emergence of sciatica include diabetes, obesity, and aging, and spending too much time in the same sitting position.

According to Dr. Andrew Sama, an expert spine surgeon who works at New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery, treating sciatica starts with taking a rest mixed with taking anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal relaxants for the muscles.

In case your body doesn’t react to this treatment, it is highly recommended to start physical therapy and some people say that acupuncture and chiropractor massage helps. Next, in case these activities don’t provide any results, doctors usually recommend the use of epidural steroid injections.

Only in a small number of cases when these non-invasive treatments don’t provide relief, doctors usually suggest a surgical intervention t eliminate this pressure.

The vast majority of experts advise visiting your doctor in case OTC medications and rest don’t help you with the pain after ten days.

Via Fox News

About the author 


A mom of two with a background in journalism, I took health into my own hands and started researching to find answers to my own health struggles. My research turned into a blog that turned into an amazing community (starring you!).When I'm not reading medical journals, creating new recipes, you can find me somewhere outside in the sun or undertaking some DIY remodeling project that inevitably takes twice as long as it was supposed to.

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