sciatica

What is Sciatica?


Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) refers to medical and health care systems, practices, and products that aren't currently part of conventional medicine the care you receive in your primary care doctor's office. Many of these therapies are being studied intensely, and some have proved to help alleviate back pain.

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Also known as Sciatic Neuralgia, Bilateral Sciatica, sciatic nerve dysfunction, neuropathy - sciatic nerve, Sciatic Neuralgias, Bilateral Sciaticas
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Sciatica - What is Sciatica?

Jan 10, 2010 ... Sciatica is caused by irritation to one of the large nerves to the legs and thighs. Sciatica causes pain around the hip and thigh region.

Read more on orthopedics.about.com

JAMA Patient Page | Sciatica

Jul 8, 2009 ... Sciatica can be caused by a number of conditions ... about surgical treatment for sciatica caused by a herniated disk. ...

Read more on jama.ama-assn.org

Sciatica - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sciatica (or sciatic neuritis) is a set of symptoms including pain that may be caused by general compression and/or irritation of one of five spinal nerve ...

Read more on en.wikipedia.org

Back Pain and Sciatica - Exercise and Physical Therapy

Apr 26, 2006 ... Back Pain and Sciatica - Exercise and Physical Therapy.

Read more on www.healthcentral.com

Low Back Pain and Sciatica: eMedicine Neurology

Nov 5, 2010 ... Overview: OverviewLike a modern skyscraper, the human spine defies gravity, and defines us as vertical bipeds. It forms the infrastructure ...

Read more on emedicine.medscape.com

Sciatica

Sciatica is a symptom of a problem with the sciatic nerve, a large nerve that runs from the lower back down the back of each leg. It controls muscles in the back of your knee and lower leg and provides feeling to the back of your thigh, part of your lower leg and the sole of your foot. When you have sciatica, you have pain, weakness, numbness or tingling. It can start in the lower back and extend down your leg to your calf, foot, or even your toes. It's usually on only one side of your body. Sciatica may be due to a ruptured intervertebral disk, narrowing of the spinal canal that puts pressure on the nerve called spinal stenosis, or an injury such as a pelvic fracture. In many cases no cause can be found.

Read more on www.nlm.nih.gov

Sciatica: Causes - MayoClinic.com

Sciatica may develop when a nerve root is compressed in your lower ... In some cases, your doctor may not be able to find a cause for your sciatica. ...

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Sciatica: Articles and Videos on Sciatica Symptoms, Causes and ...

Sciatica describes the symptoms of leg pain and possibly tingling or numbness that travels down the low back via the sciatic nerve in the back of the leg.

Read more on www.spine-health.com

Topiramate in the Treatment of Sciatica - Full Text View ...

Feb 28, 2001 ... This study will test the effectiveness of topiramate to treat pain caused by lumbar radiculopathy, or sciatica. Sciatica results from damage ...

Read more on clinicaltrials.gov

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a symptom. It consists of leg pain, which might feel like a bad leg cramp, or it can be excruciating, shooting pain that makes standing or ...

Read more on my.clevelandclinic.org

Contents

Causes
Sciatica occurs when there is pressure or damage to the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in the spine and runs down the back of each leg. This nerve controls the muscles of the back of the knee and lower leg and provides sensation to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg, and the sole of the foot.

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Complications
Although most people recover fully from sciatica, often without any specific treatment, sciatica can potentially cause permanent nerve damage. Depending on what's causing the nerve to be compressed, other complications may occur, including: Loss of feeling in the affected leg; Loss of movement in the affected leg; Loss of bowel or bladder function

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Diagnosis
If the symptoms of sciatica are mild and do not last longer than six weeks, a medical diagnosis is probably not required. This is because mild, short-term (acute) sciatica is normally not a cause for concern and will resolve without treatment.

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Exams and Tests
Sciatica might be revealed by a neuromuscular examination of the legs by a physician. There may be weakness of knee bending or foot movement, or difficulty bending the foot inward or down. Reflexes may be abnormal, with weak or absent ankle-jerk reflex. Pain down the leg can be reproduced by lifting the leg straight up off the examining table.

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Lifestyle and home remedies
For most people, sciatica responds well to self-care measures. You'll heal more quickly if you continue with your usual activities, but avoid what may have triggered the pain in the first place. Although resting for a day or so may provide some relief, prolonged bed rest isn't a good idea. In the long run, inactivity will make your signs and symptoms worse.

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Medical advice
Call your doctor right away if you have:Unexplained fever with back pain; Back pain after a severe blow or fall; Redness or swelling on the back or spine; Pain traveling down your legs below the knee; Weakness or numbness in your buttocks, thigh, leg, or pelvis; Burning with urination or blood in your urine; Pain that is worse when you lie down, or awakens you at night; Severe pain and you cannot get comfortable; Loss of control of urine or stool (incontinence); You have been losing weight unintentionally; You use steroids or intravenous drugs; You have had back pain before but this episode is different and feels worse; This episode of back pain has lasted longer than 4 weeks

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Outlook (Prognosis)
If the cause of the sciatic nerve dysfunction can be identified and successfully treated, full recovery is possible. The extent of disability varies from no disability to partial or complete loss of movement or sensation. Nerve pain may be severe and persist for a prolonged period of time.

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Possible Complications
Partial or complete loss of leg movement; Partial or complete loss of sensation in the leg; Recurrent or unnoticed injury to the leg; Side effects of medications

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Prevention
Prevention varies depending on the cause of the nerve damage. Avoid prolonged sitting or lying with pressure on the buttocks.

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Risk factors
Risk factors are health problems, lifestyle choices and inherent qualities, such as age or race, that make it more likely you'll develop a particular condition. Major risk factors for sciatica include: Age. Age-related changes in the spine are a common cause of sciatica. You're likely to have some deterioration in the disks in your back by the time you're 30, and most people who develop herniated disks are in their 30s and 40s. Occupation. A job that requires you to twist your back, carry heavy loads or drive a motor vehicle for long periods makes you more prone to develop sciatica. Prolonged sitting. People who sit for prolonged periods or have a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to develop...

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Symptoms
Many people confuse general back pain with sciatica. The difference between sciatica and general back pain is that the pain of sciatica is not just limited to your back, but also stretches down your buttocks and into your legs.

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Treatments and drugs
For most people, sciatica responds well to self-care measures. These may include use of hot packs or cold packs, stretching, exercise and use of over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Beyond the self-care measures you may have taken, your doctor may recommend the following: Physical therapy. If you have a herniated disk, physical therapy can play a vital role in your recovery. Once acute pain improves, your doctor or a physical therapist can design a rehabilitation program to help prevent recurrent injuries. Rehabilitation typically includes exercises to help correct your posture, strengthen the muscles supporting your back and improve your flexibility. Your doctor will have you start physical...

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