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Published On: Wed, Sep 6th, 2017

A Comprehensive Guide on Back Pain and SciaticaDiagnosis and Treatment

Modern life is fast paced and it calls for you to be overly active. However, this is not possible if you are suffering from pain and you might be forced to abandon many opportunities in life. Living a quality life is not possible when you are struggling to move your limbs and this is why you need to get as much insight on this condition. Back pain is oneof the most common conditions that bog people down.

photo/ Wolfgang Claussen via pixabay

The lifetime prevalence of low back-related leg pain (sciatica), which is a common variation of low back pain, is more than 70% in industrialized countries. While it varies in the degree of severity, there is no denying that this condition can have devastating effects, especially on someone who had been used to an active lifestyle.

Symptoms of Sciatica

Most patients don’t even know they suffer from sciatica and wait until it is too late to treat the condition. This condition mostly affects one side of the body and the pain extends down to the lower back all through to the lower leg. This affects the sciatic nerve, hence the term sciatica. The pain can be debilitating for some patients while for others it is infrequent. In all cases, there is the risk of the pain getting worse.

In summary, symptoms of sciatica include hip pain, lower back pain, pain in the rear, tingling or a burning sensation down the leg, difficulty moving your leg, weakness or numbness of a leg, and shooting pain making it impossible to stand.

Causes of Sciatica and Back Pain

Lumbar spine (lower back) disorders are the main causes of sciatica. They include:

  • Lumbar bulging disc or herniated disc
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis, which is a nerve compression disorder affecting mostly adults.
  • Spondylolisthesis is a disorder affecting the lumbar spine. It happens when one vertebra slips over tothe adjacent vertebra.
  • External force causing direct nerve compression. Common in motor vehicle accidents and sports.
  • Piriformis syndrome which is caused by pain in the Piriformis muscle located on the lower part of the spine. This irritates the sciatic nerve.
  • Spinal tumours which are abnormal cancerous growths. They are rare but if they grow in the lumbar region, the risk of sciatica is very high.

Other causes include pregnancy, muscle spasms in the buttocks, andsacroiliac joint dysfunction among others. If you have any of the above symptoms, it is important to get further insight from the back pain and sciatica website to learn more. As they say, information is power and this will help you seek the right kind of treatment.

Treatment of Back Pain and Sciatica

There are many treatment approaches to back pain and sciatica including nonsurgical (heat/ice), pain medications and epidural steroid injections.There are also alternative treatments such as chiropractic/manual manipulation, acupuncture, cognitive behaviour therapy and massage therapy. Other approaches include electrical nerve stimulation and electrothermal therapy, nerve block for back pain, physical therapy (PT), laminectomy (back surgery) and spinal decompression therapy.

When seeking treatment for back pain and sciatica, make sure you find a doctor who is certified and well versed in a variety of treatments.Procedures used should also be holistic and approved by medical authorities.  

Author: Charlie Brown

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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