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Can Sciatica cause swelling or inflammation in the knee?

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Emergency Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1980
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I had a bout with sciatica last week which resulted in severe hip pain. My chiropractor has helped me but my knee remains inflamed/swollen.
Posted Thu, 27 Mar 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Geoffrey 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Rest and return to activity when possible Detailed Answer: Sciatica does not cause swelling or inflammation in the knee, but it can cause pain radiating into your knee. Pain in your hip and knee can also be caused by problems such as arthritis in your hip. If there is any doubt whether you have a knee or hip problem or if this is indeed sciatica, please see your doctor. During a spell of sciatica, and to speed recovery, it is important to avoid activities that increase the stress and pressure on the disks in your lower spine. Maintain good posture and avoid sitting. No stooping, bending, or heavy lifting while you are having pain radiating into your hip or knee. Sleep on your back on a firm surface with a pillow under your knees to reduce stress on your disks. Taking ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory can help (make sure you take with food or take an acid-blocking medication too), and sometimes a muscle relaxant such as flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) helps too. As the pain subsides, returning to gentle non impact activities is the best path for further improvement. In rare cases, loss of sensation in the genital area, weakness or difficulty with passing urine or loss of control of bowels can occur, and that is a medical emergency, requiring immediate medical attention.
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