Sciatica is caused when the sciatic nerve, the largest peripheral nerve in the body, is irritated. This nerve transports messages from the brain to your muscles and returns sensations and pain signals to the brain. Sciatica is a condition that affects this function of the nerve and gives rise to specific symptoms.
The sciatic nerve is by itself formed of the lower segments of the spinal cord, that is, the lumbar and sacral nerve roots make up this nerve. Emerging from the lower part of the spinal cord, the sciatic nerve runs behind the hip joint and proceeds along the back of a person’s thigh.
Some of the symptoms of sciatica are shocking pain down the length of the leg, tingling and sensation of numbness in the legs and weakness in the leg muscles. Sciatica patients may also have difficulties in squatting. They may also experience pain when they cough. This is because the pressure around the nerve increases during such maneuvers.
Causes of Sciatica
Sciatica is most commonly caused because of a herniated spinal disc. With the intervertebral cushion ruptured, the disc pushes out into the path of the nerves and compresses them. This is what causes the pain, numbness and other symptoms.
Some other medical conditions such as spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome or spondylolisthesis can also irritate the sciatic nerve and these can show up as symptoms of sciatica.
Any individual can be affected by sciatica though it is more commonly found to occur in individuals between 30 and 50 years of age. Usually, sciatica’s onset is sudden and occurs due to sudden trauma due to back injury or overexertion.
Treatment of Sciatica
For effective treatment of sciatica, the condition has to be diagnosed in the first place. For this, the consulting specialist will take a thorough history, do a physical examination and also test specific functions of the nerve and leg movements. All other factors that cause pain in hips and legs have to be removed to diagnose sciatica. Sometimes, X-rays and MRIs may prove useful but many a time they are not needed. The symptoms have to be studied carefully to determine the correct cause of the pain in the legs and hips.
The first line of treatment is to reduce the inflammation caused by sciatica using anti-inflammatory medications such as Celebrex or Motrin. If the inflammation is severe, the patient is treated using steroids and other oral medications. In spite of the potential for side effects, steroids are very helpful in sciatica treatment to control severe inflammation.
Once the pain has been controlled, the next line of treatment is exercises and physical therapy. Ice packs and hearing aids are used to control the pain and soreness of the muscles. Sometimes, doctors make use of an epidural steroid injection to control the inflammation around the nerves.
Surgery is the last resort for the treatment of sciatica. Surgery is considered only for those who have persistent sciatica symptoms. The surgery for sciatica involves making more room around the irritated nerve. It may involve removal of the protruding ruptured disc or opening up the bone to make more room or even both.
Up to 90% of sciatica patients recover from sciatica without the aid of surgery. In a majority of cases, the nerve remains intact and the recovery period usually extends from about 3 weeks to about 3 months.
MPCT Hospital Mumbai – Why Choose Us?
If you are suffering from pain in the hips and legs and looking out for sciatica pain treatment in Mumbai, MPCT Hospital may perhaps be the best choice for you. The best sciatica treatment hospital in Navi Mumbai, MPCT Hospital, has expert and leading neurologists for precise diagnosis of the condition, effective treatment, and for the best outcomes.