What is sciatica pain, its symptoms, and how to deal with it?

sciatica pain

Sciatic nerves are located along the lower back, into the buttock, and down the legs. Sciatica is the state in which the pain originates from these nerves. The sensation can be felt near the buttocks, which most people complain to be very uncomfortable. 

A thorough diagnosis is required when you experience such pain around the area. There could be numerous reasons behind the pain, and treating the root cause is the way to go. This article will look at sciatica pain symptoms and discuss ways to deal with them.  

Causes of sciatica pain

Numerous conditions cause sciatica pain in the lower hip area. In most cases, the pain protrudes out of pre-existing injury or other kinds of damage to the nerve. Here are some of the causes of sciatica pain. 

  • The human spine consists of vertebrae with a cushiony layer in between, also known as a disc. Now, the outer layer of these cushions can get ruptured, causing what is known as a herniated disc. The sciatic nerves, which are near the herniated area, can get pinched, causing sciatica pain. 
  • Spinal Stenosis is another root cause of Sciatica. Under those conditions, the spine gets narrowed at a particular potion. This can cramp up the sciatic nerve causing pain. 
  • Another reason for sciatica is past trauma or injury. Any form of injury around the nerve can cause pain. 
  • Piriformis muscle can become stiff, often pushing down on the sciatic nerve and causing pain. These muscles are situated in the buttocks, and the condition is called Piriformis Syndrome. 
  • In some cases, vertebrae might slip from their position affecting the nearby area, and the condition is called Spondylolisthesis. This leads to an uncomfortable feeling with pain near your butt region. 
  • Some patients also complain about sciatic pain when they have Osteoarthritis. This happens mostly in older people as bone spurs form, compressing the nerves in the lower back. 
  • Under the influence of Cauda equina syndrome, the nerves in the lower back get affected, which can induce sciatica. 

Symptoms of sciatica 

The following section will elaborate on what are sciatica pain symptoms. This should be an indicator for you to visit your doctor. 

  • Common symptoms include pain which can be moderate or severe
  • Difficulty in movement
  • Everything below the hip can grow weak and numb 
  • Prickling sensation around the feet and leg

Sciatica pain diagnosis 

If you experience any of the above symptoms, visit a health professional who will browse your medical history. There will be preliminary exams, to begin with, which include walking, leg raise-test, muscle flexing, and more. 

After analyzing your situation, the examiner will proceed with more medical tests they might need to understand your case. Here are some of the common medical tests to diagnose sciatica. 

  • X-ray of the spine to look for any fracture or disk problem.
  • MRI or CT scans to better understand what’s causing sciatica. 
  • Electromyography to check your nerve and muscle condition near the lower back. 
  • Myelogram to analyze further problems around the vertebrae. 

Treatment for sciatica pain 

Your doctor will recommend your treatment procedures depending on the condition and the cause for your sciatica, which includes: 

  • Medication for the pain and discomfort. Medicines relating to muscle spasm help when the reason is due to muscle compression. Your doctor might prescribe a painkiller if the pain is unbearable. 
  • Another way of treating sciatica pain is through physical therapy. Your therapist will incorporate exercises and stretches that will help relieve muscle stress. 
  • Spinal injections will be administered when your medical professional thinks fit. Anti-inflammatory medicine or corticosteroid works great on swelling and pain. 

Alternatively, there are home remedies that one can follow to relieve the pain, such as: 

  • Apply hot or cold packs, which will help with the pain.
  • Learning some basic stretches can help reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve. 

Dr. Akhil Tawari is a professional guide for anything related to your back pain. Consult him today to get specialized treatment for your spinal condition.