Pain that starts in the lower back and buttocks and goes all the way down to your legs is called sciatica. It tends to be a symptom of another spinal condition and is one of those back problems that the best doctors NYC treat often. Sciatica pain indicates that one has a problem with their sciatic nerve. This nerve begins in the lower back area and travels through the buttocks, back of thighs and into the lower leg. If the sciatic nerve is pinched or compressed, pain can be felt, and can be accompanied by other sensations: burning, numbness and tingling.
It is easy to think that your lumbar spine area is hurting due to issues with your sciatica nerve while it could be because of doing strenuous work or sporting activities. So, pick one of the best walk in pain clinics near me and have your lumbar spine examined. There are two types of pain that any back specialist must differentiate: radiculopathy (radicular pain) and referred pain. The former results when there is an inflamed nerve root while the latter happens because of a musculoskeletal sprain or strain.
Understanding radicular pain
This condition leads to symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness and weakness in legs and arms that require the attention of a NY spine and pain physician. When present, it’s usually because of issues with the nerve roots: degenerative disease, disc herniation and narrowing of the spinal canal and so on. They all inflame and irritate the nerve roots. All areas that are supplied by irritated nerve roots often develop pain and other symptoms. Sometimes a lot of nerve roots are pinched, causing severe pain that shifts to both legs. At this point it is okay to see a trustworthy NY spine and pain doctor.
What causes sciatica pain?
There are different kinds of sciatica pain causes. To know what exactly is triggering your own discomfort, make an effort to see some of the best doctors NYC area today. Meanwhile, here are the most prevalent causes of sciatic nerve pain.
- Herniated disc – The term herniation refers to a kind of abnormality that affects intervertebral discs. A herniated disc occurs when the inner, gelatin-like component of an interverterbral disc (nucleus pulposus) bulges out via the tougher outer lining of ligaments that encircles the disc. A tear in this outer lining (usually called annulus fibrosis) triggers pain in the lower back near the herniated dics. This disc is also called a slipped disc, bulging disc, protruding disc or ruptured disc. If the protruding disc presses on a spinal nerve root, the pain can radiate to any other area of the body that the root serves. Disc herniation problems affects people who are thirty years and above. You need to talk to a NY spine and pain specialist to know the degree of disc herniation you have. There are usually four degrees: nuclear herniation, disc protrusion, nuclear extrusion and sequestered nucleus.
- Degenerative disc disease – Deterioration of spinal discs is a problem caused mainly by the normal aging process. If there is a degenerated disc in your lower back, it can irritate a nerve root and trigger sciatica pain. Degenerative disc disease is a serious condition that requires the attention of the best doctors NYC. Therefore you should get in touch with a back specialist who can diagnose your lumbar spine and identify a disease like this one if it exists. If the disease is there, the doctor will want to know if it has lead to growth of bone spurs that can press against a nerve root.
- Isthmic spondylolisthesis – This is when a trivial stress fracture enables a vertebra to slide forward on another one, causing the sciatic nerve to get pinched. Sciatica pain will then be felt until a NY spine and pain doctor examines your back and locates Isthmic spondylolithesis.
- Lumbar spinal stenosis – This refers to narrowing of the spinal canal and because a nerve is pinched or compressed, sciatica pain can result. It is difficult to find someone younger than sixty years going through spinal stenosis as it is related to the natural aging process. Lower back stenosis develops when there is overgrowth of soft tissue, swollen facet joints, and/or a bulging disc. Any of these is enough to exert pressure on the nerve roots, resulting to sciatica. In most cases, people with lumbar spine stenosis have spinal arthritis. The condition can result to symptoms that are similar to sciatica pain and at this point you will have to meet the best doctors NYC.
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction – This joint should not get irritated as if this happens, a nerve can also get irritated (L5 nerve). This sacroiliac joint is situated at the bottom of the spine while the L5 nerve is on top of the sacroiliac joint. When there is irritation, pain that feels almost the way the sciatica pain does may result.
- Piriformis syndrome – The sciatica nerve is under the piriformis muscle in your buttock. If it pinches or irritates a nerve root, including the nerve, a lot of pain can result. The kind of pain felt is not the real radicular pain and if it gets so serious, the best thing is to see the best doctors NYC.
- Muscle strain – This usually occurs when there is inflammation connected to a lower muscle strain or spasm and it is exerting pressure on a nerve root. This can result to sciatica pain.
- Tumor – When a spinal tumor interrupts the function of a particular nerve root in your lower back, sciatica pain can happen. Spinal tumors don’t commonly start in the back, although they can. In most cases they form when one has cancer elsewhere in their body that spreads to the back.
- Ankylosing spondylitis – This is when one suffers from chronic inflammation in the spine or around it. The problem will begin in your sacroiliac joint, resulting to a condition called sacroiliitis. Its symptoms might include sciatica pain. To know if you have ankylosing spondylitis, call one of the top walk in pain clinics near me.
- Infection – Although this is extremely rare, an infection that affects the lower back can irritate a nerve root and cause sciatica.
- Lumbar vertebra fracture – If one of your lumbar spinal bones is broken due to an injury sustained from a car accident or fall, sciatica pain can occur. A vertebra can also fracture because of being weakened by a condition such as osteoporosis. It is only one of the best doctors NYC that can find out whether you have osteoporosis.
- Pregnancy – During pregnancy, women go through a lot of body changes including weight gain, hormonal changes, and so on. These are enough to trigger sciatica pain.
- Epidural fibrosis – This refers to scar tissue and it can be so bad that it compresses a nerve root. In such as case, sciatica pain would result and should be treated by a NY spine and pain specialist you can trust.
When there is sciatica pain, some symptoms will be obvious. If you notice them, the best thing is to see a NY spine and pain expert. These symptoms include the following:
- Numbness /or weakness when you try to move your leg or foot
- Pain can be felt in your toes, depending on the exact part of your sciatic nerve that is pinched
- There will be lower back pain that is not as profound as the leg pain
- Pain that begins in your lumbar spine area and travels down the path of the sciatic nerve. This is buttock, down the rear of the thigh and into your lower leg and/or foot.
- Pain that doesn’t end and affects just one side of the buttock or leg. Sciatica pain, according to the best doctors NYC who treat back pain, barely affects both buttocks at once.
- If you feel pain that improves when you lie down or continue walking and gets worse when you sit or stand up, it is sciatica.
- Sharp or searing pain that is rarely dull is sciatica.
- There is a tingling or prickling feeling down one leg in certain cases of sciatica pain. This can also be accompanied by numbness and weakness.
- Shooting pain that gets severe in just one leg, making it so hard for a person to stand up and walk.
The above-mentioned symptoms can worsen and intensify when you make abrupt movements or gestures like sneezing, coughing or standing up quickly. Depending on what is causing your sciatica pain, it can worsen. For instance, if you have spinal stenosis, pain can increase when you bend backward or when you walk a while longer than you are used to. Additionally, when bending forward, sciatica pain can worsen if it’s being caused by a herniated disc. It is best to see a NY spinal and pain specialist if you notice the above-mentioned symptoms.
There are usually two nerve roots that leave your lower back area: L4 and L5. Three more leave the sacral segment and are S1, S2 and S3. All the five nerve roots create what is known as the sciatic nerve. They also spread out once again in the leg to deliver sensory and motor functions to certain areas of the leg and foot. The best doctors NYC can tell you which of these nerve roots are pinched.
When to go one of the top walk in pain clinics near me
While sciatica symptoms may get worse faster, rarely do they need surgery. If there is need to treat them at the doctor’s office, the following will be noted:
- Symptoms that worsen instead of getting better. These may indicate possible nerve damage particularly if the symptoms themselves are neurological in nature.
- If you have bilateral sciatica symptoms. These are symptoms that affect both legs. They are bad because they can trigger bowel or bladder incontinence. If you experience an altered feeling in your genital area (saddle area), your NY spine and pain physician can test you for cauda equine syndrome. It refers to acute pinching of one or many nerve roots. This can occur, though rarely and triggers paralysis.
Another thing to note is that sciatica pain that is accompanied by fever or loss of appetite, or that which happens after an injury should be checked by a medical expert without delay. Any cause for concern should be reported to the best doctors NYC to keep the situation from worsening. This is particularly if your sciatica pain comes and goes as if it is ignored, it could exacerbate overtime. Before resulting to surgery, your NY spine and pain surgeon will try non-surgical solutions. If sciatica symptoms don’t improve, a more advanced solution like surgery must be used to provide lasting pain relief. Non-surgical treatment recommended by the most reliable NY spine and pain include the following:
- Heat or ice compression packs -These can be used to reduce leg pain triggered by acute sciatica pain. The initial phase of sciatic nerve pain can be calmed down by heat or ice compression packs. So apply your preferred pack every two hours for twenty minutes. You can also choose to use hot and ice packs interchangeably.
- Pain drugs -These can be prescribed drugs or over the counter drugs. They are all effective in reducing sciatica pain. NSAIDs like ibuprofen or naproxen can be used to relieve pain while oral steroids can minimize inflammation. Muscle relaxants or narcotic drugs can be prescribed by your NY spine and pain specialist for temporary use (up to 2 weeks in some cases) as they are great pain killers.
- Epidural steroid injections – Severe pain and inflammation can be controlled with an epidural steroid injection. As an injection goes straight into the hurting area in your sciatica nerve, it can address the irritation that could be causing pain. Epidural steroid injections do not help every patient, unfortunately, but can offer sciatica pain relief for a week or a year. After being injected, most people don’t go back to the best doctors NYC Their healing is also strengthened by exercises.
Besides the above-mentioned options, there are alternative sciatica pain cures like chiropractic manipulation, cognitive behavior therapy, acupuncture and massage therapy. Ask one of the best doctors NYC to refer you to alternative cures specialists near you. If you experience recurring sciatica pain, it will hardly take longer than six to twelve weeks. And to avoid recurrence, you should start a special exercise program as soon as initial pain relief is achieved. At your workplace, get ergonomic furniture to improve your back posture and avoid sciatica and other spinal issues. The best doctors NYC to seek assistance from are pain management specialists. These will recommend the right NY spine and pain physical therapists and physiatrists to work with.