Sciatica is the kind of pain that occurs when the sciatic nerve is irritated. Sciatic nerve is the largest in the human body, extending from the lower back to the lower leg and passing through the buttocks and back of thighs. Sciatica treatment is available, although it depends largely on the severity of the condition and what’s causing it. When the sciatic nerve is compressed or pinched, the pain is usually felt in the buttock and back of thigh. Sometimes it shifts to the lower leg or below your knee.
As back pain can result from different problems, it is advisable to get in touch with some of the top pain doctors NJ area. These experts will be able to examine your entire spine and spot the real cause of pain. If the sciatic nerve is irritated, the cause will be found in your lumbar spine (lower back). If pain is in the thoracic spine area, chances are that you will require osteoporosis treatment to treat compression bone fractures.
What is the root cause of sciatica?
To receive sciatica treatment, the doctor must first determine if your sciatic nerve is inflamed. And if it is, there will be symptoms that will strongly reveal that something is wrong with your sciatic nerve. But, what will trigger these symptoms? Sciatica results when one or more of the five sets of nerve roots in the lumbar area gets pinched or compressed. This problem is medically termed as lumbar radiculopathy and is associated with numbness, weakness in legs, tingling, and pain. Radiculopathy can occur because of these causes:
- Disc herniation –If there is a herniated disc, also called bulging or protruding disc in your lower back, it can pinch a nerve root and cause pain. A disc herniates when its nucleus pulposus or gel-like core breaks and protrudes via the annulus fibrosus(tough outer wall). Then the disc material presses against a nearby nerve root, causing sciatic nerve pain. There is also another problem the disc material causes: its irritating hyaluronic acid triggers nerve inflammation. So, nerve compression and irritation ends up causing nerve inflammation and pain. It is only great pain doctors NJ that can identify herniated dics in the lumbar spine and link it to sciatic nerve pain. If no action is taken the soonest possible, other symptoms like muscle weakness, tingling and numbness can affect your leg or legs.
- Spinal stenosis – Another common reason why people feel sciatica is lumbar spinal stenosis. While disc herniation can affect younger men and women, stenosis is strongly associated with older people. It is a compression disorder that gets worse during certain body positions (standing, bending or walking) and healed when one takes a seat. It occurs when neural foramina gets narrower or blocked. These are openings in the spinal vertebrae through which the nerve roots leave the spinal column and connect to the rest of the body. If the neural foramina become narrower or clogged, the nerve roots will get compressed and cause a condition called foraminal stenosis. By seeing the top pain doctors NJ State, you can find out whether you have this form of stenosis in your lower back.
- Spondylolisthesis – When a vertebra slips forward on top of a neighboring vertebra, a condition called spondylolisthesis occurs. In adulthood, a vertebra can slip and get displaced when lifting heavy weights or after a bad accident that leads to severe back trauma. As for kids who have this condition, they are born with it and it continues to grow during their childhood years. Spondylolisthesis is a common cause of sciatic leg pain and sciatica treatment is necessary to stop it.
- Physical trauma – Sometimes external impacts that are directed to the sacral spinal nerve roots or lumbar area can cause nerve compression and sciatica. This can happen after a bad fall, motorcycle accident or during contact sports. If the forces produced injure your nerves, or leads to broken bones that compress your nerves, sciatica treatment will be necessary.
- Tumor of the spine – If there are cancerous or non-cancerous growths in your spine, pain that radiates to the lower extremities can be felt. While these are rare, they have been found growing in some people’s lower back area. Just to find out whether you are in danger, call the best pain doctors NJ and get to their clinic for diagnosis.
- Piriformis syndrome – Sometimes the pirioformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing a condition called piriformis syndrome. Situated in the lower area of your spine, this muscle attaches to the thighbone and promotes the rotation of the hip. Since the sciatic nerve is right underneath the piriformis muscle, spasms arising from the muscle can compress the nerve and cause sciatica. If you have this condition, it will be necessary to locate the most trustworthy and advanced pain doctors NJ. This is so because piriformis syndrome is hard to diagnose with just MRIs and X-rays.
Sciatica treatment is necessary, of course, although the pain can improve on its own after about four to six weeks. Nevertheless, other sensations (numbness, weakness and tingling) may take longer to heal. At home, things like pain killers, cold or hot packs, and stretching exercises can be used to improve sciatica.
Who is likely to develop sciatic nerve pain?
There are people who are more prone to this problem than others, the same way that older women seek osteoporosis treatment more than men their own age and younger people. If you have a degenerative condition in your lumbar spine area, such as arthritis, you are more likely to feel sciatic nerve pain. The same case applies to those who are suffering from a lumbar disc disease, slipped disc, fractures and other sorts of spinal injuries. It also can develop or worsen during pregnancy due to the extra weight a woman has to bear. Although sciatica is associated with lower back pain, sometimes it causes just buttock pain, hip pain and leg pain. When it is extremely severe, sciatic treatment will be needed to end pain and improve the victim’s quality of life. It is important to know that severe sciatica can get worse when one is walking or bending at their waistline and relieved when they try to rest. Sciatica can sometimes be ended partially or completely by just altering a posture that is worsening the pain.
To verify their worries, pain doctors NJ will do a thorough diagnosis. First of all, they will ask about your medical history and carry out a physical exam. During a physical exam, your back doctor might ask to you to do some maneuvers and then carry out X-rays, MRIs and/or CT scans. Sometimes they will also do an electromyogram test to strengthen their findings. By the end of the appointment, you will be told whether you have sciatica and what is causing it.
How to ensure you receive the best diagnosis
The first thing to do is to select one of the most reliable pain doctors NJ area. While you have a choice to work with general doctors and sub-specialists, we would highly advise you to try real back specialists. These are orthopedics and neurosurgeons. Even pain doctors who have been trained in pain management and rheumatology are good picks. Besides these medical practitioners, you may improve your sciatica treatment results via physical therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists and psychologists.
Sciatica treatment methods
Once the pain doctors NJ discover the real cause of sciatic nerve pain and other symptoms, they will try to eliminate it. Hence, the options of treating this condition are determined based on the underlying cause and its severity level. While surgery is an option, it is not selected until all the non-surgical methods are offered. One of these non –surgical sciatica treatment options is TENs units (Transcutenous nerve stimulators). It is selected when a patient has a chronic case of sciatic nerve pain. Others are:
- Epidural cortisone injections – These are given to patients whose sciatica worsens after four weeks and aren’t benefiting from other home remedies. These are X-ray-guided steroid injections targeting the lumbar area that is closest to the sciatic nerve. One cannot receive more than three epidural injections a year as these might cause loss of bone mineral density, forcing the person to seek osteoporosis treatment as well.
- Pain medicines and muscle relaxants – Pain killers can be bought from a pharmaceutical shop offline or online and entail NSAIDs (Non-steroidal-inflammatory drugs). These reduce pain and inflammation. As disc herniation may be accompanied by excruciating muscle spasms, pain doctors NJ and elsewhere often prescribe muscle relaxant and anti-depressant drugs as well.
- Ice or heat pad – These are not so dependable because the sciatic nerve is located so deep within your buttock and leg. But, if heat or ice is applied for fifteen minutes at a time, it can cause a little comfort and reduce the pain.
- Exercise – Since sciatica can hurt a lot, exercise can be difficult. Most people would find themselves avoiding it because of the fear that it would worsen the pain. However, people need to realize that bed rest can actually worsen sciatica and other forms of back pain. Even if the pain intensity stays the same, pain can last longer when one decides to take a bed rest. Instead of sleeping, make sure that you stay physically active and this can boost blood flow to the disc or nerve that has a problem. You do not have to overexert yourself. Exercise as a form of sciatica treatment can entail a fifteen to twenty minutes walk every single day. As there are helpful stretching exercises, it would be wise to get in touch with a suitable physical therapist in New Jersey. Your pain doctors NJ clinic can endorse a physical therapist that can help you.
- Spinal manipulation – Another way to relieve symptoms of sciatic nerve pain is to seek chiropractic care. This option is known to cause a response in the nervous system that alleviates pain and restores normal function to the injured area. Benefits can be enjoyed for a whole year as long as a chiropractor is seen about thrice a week and less and less as the sciatica improves.
- Acupuncture – This is a renowned sciatica treatment that is associated with TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Depending on the severity level, needles used in acupuncture may be heated and this can boost recovery. Acupuncture is an effective way to treat sciatic nerve pain and you should try it.
- Massage – Some people prefer to try not just any type of massage but the trigger point massage. The masseuse aims to relax the tight piriformis muscle that pinches the sciatic nerve right beneath it. So, he or she will identify the trigger points (inflamed areas) in the piriformis muscle and apply pressure to them. Extra pressure can be applied to the lower back and glutes and the whole procedure can be repeated every seven to ten days.
If the above-mentioned tricks do not offer enough pain relief, pain doctors NJ might recommend surgery. This can be done to treat disc herniation and can largely decrease the pain and disability in just three months. Surgical benefits can be enjoyed for a number of years. All the same, surgery is the last sciatica treatment you will be offered. It has its side effects, including a longer recovery period, but it can also restore your lower back health. If your doctor recommends surgery, it may be because they have tried every other technique in vain. As long as you trust your pain doctors NJ, feel free to push through with surgery as it may be just what you require.
Getting checked by a qualified medical doctor is wiser than staying at home hoping that your sciatica symptoms will go away. He or she might find out that you have an issue with your sacroiliac joint in the lower back and that’s why you have radiating leg pain. So it is important to be thoroughly evaluated so as to know the exact cause of your back and leg pain. It is the only way to have your back treated correctly and successfully.