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Is persistent back pain a sign of sciatica?

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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 1419 Questions
I have had symptoms of sciatica for about six weeks. I have been stretching and walking, taking hot whirl pool baths, along with aleve and muscle relaxers. So far nothing seems to have worked. I have seen my nurse practioner and received 2 decotron shots.The shots helped for a couple of days. I still have pain in my back and down my right leg. Is there any thing else I can do? Do I need a X-ray? My job requires me to sit all day, but I do get up and walk around the office. I have also used hot and cold packs. Does sciatica last longer than 6 weeks? Thanks for your help.
Wed, 30 May 2018 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes you needs X-ray and may even CT scan

Detailed Answer:
Hi! Welcome to Healthcaremagic. Thanks for sharing your concerns with us. We will try to help you in best way possible. First of all it's sad to know what you had been going through lately.

Based on the history you have shared, yes you need xray of lumbar spine both AP and lateral views to look for any signs of vertebral collapse or narrowing of space to rule out compression on sciatic nerve which is mostly the case.

CT scan or MRI can be more helpful to look for soft tissue compression or disc bulge or prolapse as in such cases surgical correction or lamenctomy becomes unavoidable if not responding to medical treatment as it can prolong the illness beyond weeks to months.

Using supplements for calcium,. D3 and bisphonates may help if osteoporosis being underlying cause. You will need a neurosurgical review and meanwhile OTC analgesics like acetaminophen can be continued but in severe pains not responding to these conventional pain killers you may need potent analgesics like tramadol or nerve pain suppressants like gabapentin or duloxetine. Nerve blocks can be used in some cases.

Wishing you a speedy recovery. Hope this has answered your query. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask. Regards.
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