SCIATICA: IS IT REAL PAIN OR Temporay Hip Pain?

Your Sciatica nerves run from your lower back down to your right and left side of your legs.  Cramping, intense Pain radiates down from your behind to your leg. Sciatica or sciatic neuritis is pain arising from the compression of the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve is the body’s longest nerve, running from the spinal cord down to the buttocks and hips, innervating both thighs, legs and feet. Sciatica pain is excruciating, and can cause debilitation if not given prompt attention. It could arise from a herniated spinal disc, spinal tumors, accidents causing trauma to the spine. At times, misplaced buttock injections can also hit the sciatic nerve.

Sciatica causes loss of muscle tone, feeling, and movement in the affected extremity. Worst-case scenario, it will cause a temporary loss of bladder and bowel function, signifying cauda equina syndrome. This complication will need prompt emergency care.

The effects of sciatica will go away on its own, typically 4-8 weeks, but to prevent any complications, a consultation with a physician should be done. As with all ailments, physical examinations are in order. The physician will check your reflexes along with your muscle strength and tone. To test for sciatic nerve compression, you will be asked to rise from a squatting position and raise a leg in a lying position. These movements will usually elicit pain on the affected leg.

Laboratory tests to confirm sciatica are the following:

  • MRI
  • CT-scan
  • Spinal X-ray

 

Physical therapy, along with intake of pain medications will pave the way for recovery from sciatica. Consult with a physical therapist or a chiropractor, and he will begin a therapeutic program that will include stretching and weight-bearing exercises.

Medications for this condition will comprise of anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants. For longer pain relief, your physician will prescribe anti-depressants and anti-convulsants. To complement these, intermittent hot and cold applications will provide effective and within-reach pain relief.  Cold packs are good for decreasing inflammation in the affected area and should be done within 48 hours after the injury. After 48 hours, hot packs should be applied to ease pain and tension, along with the added benefit of increasing circulation to the area. Both hot and cold packs can be alternated for 15-20 minutes each later on.

Regular exercise will help you counter the pain, unlikely as it may first seem. Unbeknownst by many, physical activity like exercise releases endorphins, the human body’s feel-good hormones and natural painkillers. Water exercises can be performed in the initial stages after the injury will be a good start, as it is less tedious and is low on impact. You can later on progress to aerobic exercises that will target your core and back. These types of exercise will help you strengthen your abdominal and back muscles.You can use a tennis ball to massage your lower back pain for temporary pain relief.

More aggressive interventions are for sciatic nerve compressions induced by herniated discs. If you are experiencing bowel and bladder dysfunctions, surgery is the best option for you. Likewise, if your pain is persistent and worsens even after implementation of several therapies, you will have to undergo surgery. You have to consult with your physician on which type of surgery you will need.

Either which therapeutic way you choose, always trust in your physician and exhibit cooperation and patience. Your dedication to your treatment program will ensure you control of your life and resumption of your cherished activities.

Call Us at 727 548-1111 for medical doctor treating your lower back pain and hip pain.