FAQs on Sciatica and Radiculopathy
What are Sciatica and Radiculopathy?
Delving Deeper into the Pain of Sciatica / Radiculopathy
Many people misunderstand exactly what this condition is. Many believe that this is a diagnosis of the problem that is affecting them. In reality Sciatica is simply a broad or generalized set of symptoms that a person may experience.
Before delving into certain solutions for this numbing pain, it is important that a person understand the underlying causes of this condition. This can help them identify the best solution for their Sciatica. It is also important to remember that there is more than one cause for this condition, that all involve the nerves of the back or lower back.
What are the common symptoms of Sciatica?
In cases like these a person may experience pain radiating from their buttocks, lower back, leg or foot. Usually, this feeling is only felt on one or the other side of the body and can be mistaken for other serious medical conditions- such as a stroke.
The pain, tingle or numbness felt in the lower extremities can affect the way that a patient walks, stands, or sits for periods of time. In many cases a Sciatica sufferer may find they are unable to move one of their legs well.
How is sciatica diagnosed?
Diagnostic neurological testing, palpitation and physical examination, and a consideration of the patient’s medical history all help confirm the diagnosis. Diagnostic imaging techniques such as MRI may also be used.
What are the most common causes of the pain symptoms in Sciatica?
One of the most common causes of Sciatica / Radiculopathy comes from spinal compression or Spinal Disc Herniation. Spinal Disc Herniation is defined as a medical condition that involves pressure being placed upon one of the lumbar sacral nerves within the spinal column.
In more than 90% of the cases of Sciatica, Spinal Disc Herniation is the major culprit for the back pain and discomfort affecting the patient. Lumbar Spinal Stenosis is another spinal condition that can lead to Sciatica. This condition occurs when the spinal canal begins to narrow around the Spinal Cord and the Sciatic nerves. This pressure can cause a lot of intense pain to radiate from the back and possible other areas of the body including the legs and foot.
Pregnancy can cause this problem. As the fetus is growing and forming within the womb the mother’s spinal cord may go through a period of turmoil, as the fetus presses up against it.
Trauma resulting in compression of the lumbar, sacral, or sciatic nerves can lead to sciatic symptoms. In rare cases the patient may have a spinal tumor that puts pressure on the nerve.
What are treatment options with Sciatica?
The treatment that will be used depends on the medical workup involving the cause of the symptoms, age of the patient, severity of the pain symptoms, the patient’s tolerance for procedures, and progress of the patient through conservative treatments.
If the sciatica is a result of a prolapsed herniated disc, patients are able to avoid surgery
95% of the time. Here are the available treatment options:
- Narcotics, NSAIDS, Muscle Relaxers, Neuropathic Medications
- Bedrest – less than 2 days
- Chiropractic and Physical Therapy
- Spinal Decompression Therapy
- Epidural Steroid Injections
Spinal surgery may be considered if the patient does not respond to conservative treatment or traditional therapies. Surgery is often considered a last option, and used only when considerable noninvasive options have been exhausted and explored unsuccessfully.
If you or a loved one is suffering from suspected sciatica, Colorado Pain can help you. They have the best pain management Denver offers, including Board Certified doctors who are exceptional at relieving sciatica pain.
Call (720) 306-9575 for more information and scheduling today!