What’s the real story about Sciatica?
The term sciatica describes the symptoms of leg pain—and possibly tingling, numbness, or weakness—that come from in the lower back and travel through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of each leg.
Sciatica (pronounced sigh-at-eh-kah) is not a medical diagnosis in and of itself—it is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Sciatica is the nerve pain from irritation of the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body. Common lower back problems that can cause sciatica symptoms include a lumbar herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, or spinal stenosis.
What Exactly Are The Symptoms?
Sciatica is often characterized by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg (rarely in both legs)
- Pain that is worse when sitting
- Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling, or searing (versus a dull ache)
- Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg, foot, and/or toes
- A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or walk
- Pain that radiates down the leg and possibly into the foot and toes (it rarely occurs only in the foot)
Sciatic pain can vary from infrequent and irritating to constant and incapacitating. Symptoms are usually based on the location of the pinched nerve.
While debilitating symptoms can be painful and potentially, it is rare that permanent sciatic nerve damage (tissue damage) will result, and spinal cord involvement is possible but rare.
Was I Born With This Or Did I do Something Wrong?
Sciatica rarely occurs before age 20, and becomes more commonplace in middle age. It is most likely to develop around age 40 or 50.
Perhaps because the term sciatica is often used loosely to describe leg pain, estimates of its prevalence vary widely. Some researchers have estimated it will affect up to 43% of the population at some point.1, 2
Often, a particular event or injury does not cause sciatica—rather it tends to develop over time.
The vast majority of people who experience sciatica get better within a few weeks or months and find pain relief with nonsurgical sciatica treatment.1 For others, however, the leg pain from a pinched nerve can be severe and debilitating
Seeing a doctor for sciatica pain is advised, both for learning how to reduce the pain and to check for the possibility of a serious medical issue.
Certain sciatica symptoms, while rare, require immediate medical, and possibly surgical, intervention. These include, but are not limited to, progressive neurological symptoms (e.g. leg weakness) and/or bowel or bladder dysfunction (cauda equina syndrome). Infection or spinal tumors can also cause sciatica. Because sciatica is caused by an underlying medical condition, treatment is focused on addressing the cause of symptoms rather than just the symptoms. Treatment is usually self-care and/or nonsurgical, but for severe or intractable pain and dysfunction it may be advisable to consider surgery.
For Severe Pain, What Is The Answer?
There is not a better person to tell you what it is like to live with sciatica pain and the relief Dr. Banister can provide than someone who has gone through it all.
Dr. Banister was our second evaluation of my sciatica that was causing me a lot of pain in my hip and ran down the right side of my leg into my foot. I was barely getting around. From the moment I made the first appointment with the wonderful and caring staff to the first appointment with Dr. Banister, I was put at ease. Dr. Banister took the time to listen to my symptoms and reviewed each page of the MRI with both my husband and me. We also discussed my other health issues and came up with the best option to help relieve my pain.
The option that we went with was Laminectomy – Laminotomy – Diskectomy surgery. The surgery was set up at Baylor Medical Center of Frisco. The staff at the hospital from check in to check out was great. Dr. Banister and his team took the time to calm me down before surgery and were there after the surgery to make sure everything went well. The surgery was a great success. Today I do not have any more pain down the right side of my hip, leg, and into the foot where the sciatica had been wreaking havoc. Thank you for the awesome care!
Call the great staff with Dr. Banister and take a step toward relief today. Frisco, Texas 972-499-4280, Amarillo, Texas 806-279-1183.
Source:Spine-Health.com, Dr. William Banister