PainMed has allied healthcare professionals who specialise in pain medicine. Sciatica can be treated effectively here. Pain specialists treat the patient well. Sciatica is an irritation of the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body. Your sciatic nerves originate from several nerves in your lower back. After branching outward from the spine, these nerves join at each buttock to form the sciatic nerve, which runs down each leg. The pain radiates along the same path as the sciatic nerve.

Almost anyone can suffer from sciatica except the very young. As we age, our symptoms may worsen, but they may also improve. The way one manages their symptoms will have a significant impact. Symptoms of sciatica should not prevent an individual from leading an active lifestyle, such as playing sports. However, the decision regarding restrictions of activities should never be made on a generalised basis and should always be individualised. Using pain as a guide is always a good idea, but it shouldn’t be the only one. Numbness and weakness are two neurological symptoms that should be taken seriously.

Sciatica Symptoms?

Pain typically radiates down one leg from the lower back or buttock region. Because of its location in the buttocks region, the pain feels like it’s coming from the sciatic nerve, but it usually comes from an irritated nerve in the lower spine.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain that starts in your lower back and/or buttocks and radiates down one of your legs. If you have back pain accompanied by leg pain, you might have sciatica rather than another type of back pain.
  • Neuropathies such as numbness or tingling sensations.
  • You may feel as if your muscles are weak or your reflexes are altered.

Your symptoms may worsen when you bend over, lift objects, twist, sit down, cough, or sneeze, depending on where the compressed nerve is located.

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What are the causes of sciatica?

An irritation of the sciatic nerve is caused by the entrapment of the nerve root (also known as a pinched nerve, nerve compression, or entrapment neuropathy). As the damaged nerve roots are located in the lumbar (lower back) region of the spine, this type of entrapment is called lumbar radiculopathy. Nerve compression is often caused by disc tissue compressing the nerve, by other structures in the spine compressing the nerve, or by inflammatory reactions near the nerve.

Sciatica can be caused by the following factors:

  • A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like center of an intervertebral disc of the spine protrudes through a tear in its outer ring (called the annulus). As a result of this slippage, pressure is placed on the nerve roots located near the disc. An acute back injury or wear and tear over time can cause herniated discs.
  • Spinal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the canal that houses the spinal nerves.
  • Inflammation of body parts adjacent to the spine, which in turn may be caused by the following factors:
  • A broken hip, for example, is an example of a bone or muscle injury
  • Tumors and infections are examples of diseases
  • During    pregnancy
  • Hip orthopedic surgery

One of the most important contributing factors to sciatica is improper spine mechanics. The way we lift and sit would be included in this.

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If I think I have sciatica, what should I do?

It is possible for mild sciatica to go away on its own. In addition to ceasing all activity that causes pain, stretching your lower back, applying an ice pack intermittently to the pain area, and taking NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) as ibuprofen can help.

How soon should I see a doctor if I have sciatica?

Consult a physiatrist, spine surgeon, or your primary care doctor if rest, icing, or other self-care methods do not improve your symptoms after three days. See a doctor immediately if you experience severe numbness, tingling, or difficulty urinating. (you can find a Pain management Sydney).

What is the diagnosis of sciatica?

Following a history and physical examination, X-rays, MRI, and/or MR neurography exams will confirm whether lumbar nerve root compression is present.

Treatment for sciatica in Sydney

A nonsurgical treatment may include applying cold packs or heat, taking medications, or undergoing physical therapy. Epidural steroid injections may also help you return to full activity in some cases. In severe cases, spinal decompression surgery may be required.

Conservative, nonsurgical methods should be considered when acute sciatica symptoms occur without signs of weakness, changes in bowel or bladder function, or signs of infection (such as fevers, chills, or night sweats).

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Treatments that are conservative and nonsurgical

Pain reduction is the goal of conservative treatment. The list may include:

  • Applying cold packs or heat (depending on how long you’ve had symptoms).
  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen are over-the-counter medications. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be useful for people with conditions that may be irritated by NSAIDs.
  • Medication that relaxes muscles.
  • Alternative therapies include acupuncture.
  • Activities are modified. Many factors can influence the degree of modification. Physicians, physical therapists, and chiropractors with expertise in this area can help ensure a quick recovery. In order to avoid aggravating your condition, your doctor or physical therapist may give you instructions on how to bend and lift properly.
  • The use of physical therapy.

Physical therapy and chiropractic care are some common forms of physical therapy that are used to treat sciatica in Sydney. Biomechanical and ergonomic modifications can be very helpful. Exercise physiologists and occupational therapists are also experts in these fields. It is also possible to treat significant symptoms of sciatica with epidural cortisone injections, but they need to be performed by physicians with a sciatica specialist and image guidance. It is also possible to manage symptoms with acupuncture treatments.

Injections

Epidural steroid injections may also help you return to full activity in some cases. The symptoms of sciatica usually disappear after several months for most people.

Treatment with surgery

Patients with persistent, disabling sciatica who fail to respond to conservative treatment may need surgery. The duration and severity of your symptoms will determine whether you are a candidate for surgery. Symptoms such as bladder dysfunction, incontinence, or severe numbness in the buttocks may indicate the need for immediate surgery if your condition causes cauda equina syndrome.

What is the procedure for sciatica surgery at a sciatica specialist in Sydney?

Spinal decompression surgery includes a variety of surgical procedures. To relieve back and leg pain and associated symptoms of numbness and weakness, a disc herniation or stenosis (narrowing of the canal) is removed.

Decompression surgeries vary depending on which nerve roots are affected. Among them are:

  • Laminectomy
  • Laminoplasty
  • Laminotomy
  • Lumbar microdiscectomy (also called spinal microdecompression or minimally invasive lumbar discectomy)

Over 90% of sciatica surgery patients have successful outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the circumstances under which surgery is necessary?

As mentioned previously, surgery may be indicated when symptoms do not improve despite symptomatic treatment or if there is a significant neurological deficit or repeated episodes of sciatica. 

  • How does surgery work?

Sciatica is usually treated with a microdiscectomy. Through the use of a microscope, this surgery can be performed relatively safely. 

  • Is there an immediate feeling of relief?

Our clients often experience relief after their first visit. In order to restore your spine to a healthy and pain-free alignment, we recommend a series of chiropractic visits. Consistent chiropractic treatments can manage and often eliminate sciatica.

  • Is sciatica likely to return?

Despite our best efforts, we can’t guarantee that it won’t return. With our holistic approach and education on ways to reduce pressure on your lower back, you will recover quickly and be less likely to suffer from sciatica again.

  • Why did sciatica form?

For many sciatica sufferers, the sciatic nerve has been compressed due to shifted vertebrae or disc issues such as degeneration or herniation. It is possible that the vertebrae are out of alignment and pressing on the nerve, interfering with the nerve signals that leave the spine and enter your legs. The nerve may be compromised if your discs degenerate, causing the space between the vertebrae to close. A herniated disc causes disc fluid to leak out of its protected space, interfering with nerve function.

  • What is the most effective way to sleep? 

With a pillow between your legs, you should sleep on your side, either right or left, whichever is more comfortable for you.