Why Treatment Of Sciatica Is So Important:

Nerves are one most important part of our body. Malfunctioning of any nerve creates big problems. Sciatic nerve is a large nerve present in body. It is present in the lower limb and helps us moving our leg by providing motor supply to our muscles. It also gives sensory supply that means it helps us feel pain, temperature and touch in lower limb. A small dysfunction of sciatic nerve can create big problems. One of such diseases of sciatic nerve is Sciatica.
Sciatica is defined as a medical condition which is characterized by pain moving down the leg from the region of lower back. This pain can move down the back, on outside, or on the front side of the leg. Usually the symptoms occur only on single side of the body. Some typical causes may cause pain on both sides though. Lower back pain can also be absent in most of the cases. Weakness or numbness can be experienced in many parts of the diseased leg and foot. The most common cause of Sciatica is herniation of disc. Other causes include iatrogenic injuries and traffic accidents. Piriform syndrome or some pelvic tumor putting pressure on the nerve can also cause Sciatica.
Now the question is, does Sciatica needs proper medical attention? The answer is yes! Sciatica causes severe pain that disturbs our daily routine work and can even leave some patients bed ridden affecting life severely. Sometimes patients even are unable to sleep because of continuous pain. One cannot spend life with this debilitating illness, expecting it to be corrected on its own. This is one reason why Sciatic needs immediate treatment, which is to improve your lifestyle.
As Sciatica is a disease caused by damage, entrapment or compression of sciatic nerve, not getting it treated can cause permanent damage of this nerve leading to severe disabilities. This will cause exaggeration of condition and pain will become excruciating that will not go away with any medication.
There is also a risk of permanent paralysis of lower limb because sciatic nerve supplies most of the muscles of the leg. Patient will experience mild limitation to move the leg which will eventually convert into complete paralysis of the involved limb. There will be sensory deficit too along the leg and foot, making it even worse.
One more severe disability that can result from untreated Sciatica is loss of bladder and bowel control. This is because sciatic nerve arises from same spinal segments as the supply of bladder and bowel. This can cause severe disability and impairment of daily life because with bladder and bowel dysfunction, they become bound to stay at home to avoid social embarrassment.
Last of all, it is underlying cause that can be very important. Sciatica occurs due to compression of nerve that can be because of various causes. One of these causes is some tumor. There can be some clinically undiagnosed tumor present in your body that might be causing compression of the nerve leading to symptoms of Sciatica. If Sciatica is left untreated in this situation, it is equal to leaving that tumor untreated that can be of malignant potential. That is why it is important to find the cause if no apparent cause such as disc prolapse or injury is present and that cause should be found out in order to relieve symptoms and make sure that it is not because of some malignant tumor.
So whenever you find out that you are having symptoms of Sciatica, it is important to consult a specialist doctor and get it treated or otherwise it can lead to severe disabilities.

Non-Surgical Treatment

There are a broad range of options available for treating sciatica non-surgically. Unfortunately non of these treatments completely solve the problem, but can offer a great deal of pain relief caused by a compressed nerve root.

Applying heat/ice

Apply ice or heat for approximately 20 minutes, every two hours. This especially helps in the starting phases of sciatica to greatly relieve the pain felt in the leg. Some people tend to find more relieve with heat and other while using ice. Always remember to put a piece of cloth between the ice and your skin to prevent the ice burning your skin.

Pain medication

Anti-inflammatory drugs containing ibuprofen or naproxen are normally available over the counter. Using pain medication is a highly effective way of relieving any pain caused by sciatica. Other oral steroids that reduce inflammation and muscle relaxants also tend to relieve the patient of any pain experienced through sciatica. Just be wary of the other side effects long term use of these medications can have.

Epidural injections

An increase in pain to such an extent that patient can no longer function normally, a direct injection of an anti-inflammatory steroid goes directly into the painful area near the sciatic nerve. This injection then helps relieve inflammation in this area and helps relieve pain. These effects are normally temporary, but this temporary pain relieve gives the patient the ability to go for rehabilitation exercises. If done correctly, rehabilitation exercises can have future benefits regarding sciatica. This is also referred to as a Pain Block.

Other alternative treatments that could result in pain relief are:

  • Chiropractic manipulation
  • Acupuncture
  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Massage therapy

The few treatments mentioned are only the most common treatments of sciatica but are by no means all of the available treatments. Patients need to decide what treatment works best for them.

Surgical Treatment

Sciatica Surgery – Sciatica idc 10

Its typical for patients to consider surgery for pain relief from Sciatica when the pain has not shown any relief in a 4 week time. Urgent surgery is normally required when the patient starts to loose the ability to control their bladder or increased numbness in limbs are experienced.

Depending on the condition, the patient has the following options for surgery:

Microdiscectomy for Sciatica

This surgery is normally done when Sciatica is due to a lumbar disk herniation. This is a small open surgery, using magnification. The surgeon then uses tools to remove the portion of the herniated disk that pinches the nerve. About 90% of patients suffering from Sciatica feel pain relief with this method of surgery.

Lumbar Laminectomy for Sciatica

This surgery is more common for patients who experience lumbar spine stenosis. In this case, the surgeon will remove a small portion of the bone/disk that pinches the nerve root. A large factor to concern is the patient’s activity tolerance and the patient’s general health. This is a large surgery and the patient will need to undergo a good rehabilitation program.