Sciatica Back Pain
Sciatica Back Pain
In medical terms, sciatica back pain refers to a condition wherein the patient suffers from a persistent and nagging pain, numbness or tingling feeling that is often traced to the presence of a physical irritant affecting the sciatica nerve. While the term itself may imply that the pain is mainly felt in the back, the truth is that sciatica is more predominantly felt as pain in the hip, legs, and lower extremities while the actual sensation of back pain can be mild to severe. These very specific symptoms account for a big reason as to why sciatica back pain is more easily diagnosed than other back conditions.
In many cases, sciatica is often caused by an observed herniation of a spinal disc in the lower back portion. This happens when a disc bulges out of alignment or the gel inside leaks out due to injury or wear. This process impinges on the sciatica nerve. The symptoms will typically start as discrete manifestations of the pain or numbness but eventually progresses to becoming a regularly felt sensation as the herniated disc irritates the sciatic nerve more and more.
In a few cases, sciatica back pain may not be caused by a damaged disc in the back but rather by a narrowing of the spinal canal resulting to the same pressure on the nerve. There are also documented cases where arthritic growth leading to bone spurs develop along the ridges of the spine and eventually hits the sciatica nerve with the same results. These variations in the symptoms, albeit rare, mean that due caution and care should be taken when performing diagnosis on pain in the back and legs. The use of imaging techniques like X-rays and MRI are often confirmatory requirements prior to the final diagnosis.
Once the cause of the sciatica back pain is identified, doctors and surgeons can begin to plan for the right treatment procedure to remedy the problem. In the case of a herniated disc, there are plenty of non-surgical and surgical procedures available to relieve the pressure. Non-invasive treatments can come in a number of ways and should always be tried before deciding on surgery. Surgical treatments, on the other hand, can cover a wide array of corrective procedures such as micro discectomy, disc removal and replacement and spinal fusion.
The big question surrounding sciatica back pain revolves around the timeliness of the chosen procedure vis-à-vis the severity of the observed symptoms. Often, doctors will try to delay surgery if the pain can be managed by medication, rest, therapy and lifestyle alterations. Given the risks associated with an invasive procedure such as surgery, these non-surgical treatment methods are well warranted.
However, once the condition has progressed beyond what can be tolerated or remedied by medication and rest, the prospect of surgery becomes a serious priority. For this, it is very important to find a surgeon that is a recognized expert in sciatica back pain corrective surgery. The dense network of nerves in the back requires extra care and skill so as to relieve the root cause without causing further damage.
Still, the best response to sciatica back pain remains to be the lifestyle choices that one can make to prevent the condition from ever happening. This is where proper posture, rest, regular stretching habits, and exercise can truly come in handy. With these activities, one can hope to develop the physical resistance necessary to stave off sciatica back pain. Having a good back doctor and following their suggestions can significantly help individuals remain free from the clutches of chronic back problems like sciatica back pain.