Sciatica

Overview of Sciatica

Sciatica Meaning in Urdu

شیاٹیکا ایک اعصابی تکلیف یا درد ہے جو کہ شیاٹیکا اعصاب میں ایک جگہ سے دوسری جگہ پہنچتا ہے۔ شیاٹیکا اعصاب کمر کے نچلے حصے سے شروع ہو کر ٹانگوں تک پہنچتا ہے۔ اس اعصاب پر جب کسی ہڈی کی وجہ سے زیادہ پریشر پڑتا ہے تو یہ متاثر ہوتا ہے جس کی وجہ سے سوزش، درد کا سامنا کرنا پڑتا ہے اور کئی مرتبہ ٹانگ سُن ہو جاتی ہے۔ شیاٹیکا کی وجہ سے شدید درد لاحق ہوتا ہے جو کہ کچھ ہفتوں کے علاج کے بعد ختم ہو جاتا ہے۔ اگر شیاٹیکا کا درد بہت زیادہ بڑھ جائے تو سرجری کی ضرورت بھی پڑ سکتی ہے۔

Sciatica is a common pain that originates from the lower back and extends all the way down to the legs. This pain is caused by compression, stretching, or inflammation of the sciatic nerve. The most common causes of sciatica are slipped or a herniated disk. 

Sciatica can cause pain, tingling, or even numbness in the affected leg. In most people, this case resolves on its own without any need for surgical procedures. 

 

Signs and Symptoms of Sciatica

The common symptoms of sciatica include: 

  • Pain in the lower back 
  • Pain in the back or leg that gets worse when sitting 
  • Pain in hip
  • Feeling a burning or tingling sensation down the leg 
  • Constant pain in the back 
  • Body movements like standing up or sitting down cause extreme pain 

Most often, this pain only affects one side of the body. In the case of sciatica, you would feel the pain that extends from the lower back to the back of your thigh and then down towards your leg.

This pain basically arises due to some irritation, or inflammation in the sciatica nerve. This nerve is the thickest nerve in the body,  almost equal to the width of our finger. It starts from the lower back and almost reaches the knee level when it branches out into multiple other nerves. 

Depending upon the overall condition, for some people, the sciatic pain can be extremely severe and for some, it can be a mild disturbance. However, it has the potential to grow worse. 

When to Seek Medical Assistance Immediately 

Seek immediate medical assistance if you have:

  • Fever followed by back pain 
  • Swelling or redness on your back 
  • Pain along the legs 
  • Numbness or a weakness in the upper thighs, legs, pelvis, or bottom 
  • A burning sensation while peeing or blood in the urine 
  • Uncontrollable bowel movements  

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Causes of Sciatica

Basically, sciatica occurs from the irritation in the roots of your lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine. 

Some possible causes of sciatica are:  

  • Having a medical condition called Lumbar spinal stenosis in which the spinal canal starts getting narrower in your lower back 
  • Having a medical condition called Degenerative disk disease. In this disease, the discs which act as cushions between vertebrae start breaking down
  • Spondylolisthesis, in which one vertebrae slips over another one
  • Pregnancy
  • Having muscle spasms in the back or buttocks
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Risk Factors of Sciatica

Some other risk factors for this disease can be: 

  • Age factor 
  • Diabetes 
  • Not doing any physical activity 
  • Wearing high heels for prolonged periods 
  • Sleeping on a mattress that is either too hard or too soft
  • Smoking 
  • Driving, heavy lifting, or sitting at odd angles for longer periods of time can also cause this

Health Complications of Sciatica 

 

  • Continuous pain in simple chores 
  • A herniated disc 
  • Weakness in your affected leg
  • Nerve pressing and damage 
  • In some extreme cases loss of bowel and bladder function

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Diagnosis

If you feel any symptoms of this pain, you should consult your healthcare provider immediately.  Your doctor will begin by first doing a physical examination. You would also be asked to perform certain activities like walking on your heels or toes.  

Depending upon your condition, your doctor can also ask you to undergo some imaging tests including: 

  • X-rays - The X-ray help in ruling out any bone spurs
  • CT scans - The CT scans help in better analysis of your spinal cord and spinal nerves 
  • MRI scans - The MRI scan uses radio waves and magnets to have a more clear picture of the insides of your spinal cord and surrounding nerves 
  • Electromyography (EMG) - The EMG test looks for any signs or symptoms of a herniated disk

 

Treatment of Sciatica | When to Consult a Doctor

Some self-care precautions can also help you relieve this pain. In severe cases, your doctor might suggest you these medicines:  

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs 
  • Anti-seizure medication 
  • Muscle relaxants 
  • Narcotic drugs

Some other treatment options can be: 

  • Physical Therapy - this involves exercise to improve your posture and make your body more flexible. These exercises help make your back stronger. 
  • Steroid Injections - your doctor can also suggest these injections. Their effect lasts for a few months and wears off with time. 
  • Surgery - in severe cases, where medication is not effective, doctors perform surgery as a last resort.  

In case you exhibit any concerning signs and symptoms for sciatica, consult a medical professional as soon as possible.

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Last updated on Monday 03/10/2022

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