What causes sciatica?

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Posted on Tue, 16 Jun 2015 in Back Pain
Question:
What is the cause of sciatica and what can be done to relieve the pain ?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Rovena Murati 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
detailed below.

Detailed Answer:
Hello.

Welcome to Healthcare Magic.

I read carefully your query.

Sciatica refers to the symptoms caused from the compression of the sciatic nerve at some point of it's pathway.
Usually the cause of this compression is a herniated disc on lumbar spine.
The symptoms of nerve compression are very characteristic,affecting a specific anatomic region that corresponds to the sciatic nerve distribution.
So it usually causes pain on lower back that radiates to the buttock and down the back of the leg .It is a sharp burning pain ,that is worse in sitting position .
Other symptoms might be numbness or weakness on the affected leg.
The symptoms might not be continuous but can come and go in different periods of time.
The treatment will depend on the grade of the compression and the present symptoms .
There are some specific exercises that can relieve pain.
If you have an acute flare-up of the sciatica pain ,applying ice pacs for up to 20 min several times a day for the first 2-3 days ,can help.After 2-3 days ,you can apply hot packs to the affected area.
A number of drugs can be used to treat the inflammation of the nerve due to compression like :
-Anti-inflammatories drugs that can lower the inflammation,like NSAIDs (Ibuprofen.Naproxen etc) or steroids or analgesics to ease the pain.
If the symptoms of sciatica are very frequent and severe ,surgery to remove the compression might be necessary.

You need to consult a physician fro proper diagnosis and management.

Hope it helps.
Let me know if you have any question.

Kind regards,
Dr.Rovena Murati
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Rovena Murati

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2013

Answered : 1243 Questions

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