Sciatica, medically known as lumbar radiculopathy, is a condition characterized by pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body, originating from the lower back (lumbar region) and extending down the back of each leg. This condition typically affects one side of the body and can range from mild discomfort to excruciating pain.
The primary cause of sciatica is compression or irritation of lumbar spinal nerve roots. This can occur due to various factors, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, muscle spasms, or injury. When the nerve is compressed, it sends sharp, shooting pain down the back, buttocks, and leg. Other symptoms may include tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness.
People with sciatica often experience difficulty in sitting, standing, or walking for extended periods. The pain intensity can vary from a dull ache to a burning sensation or sharp, stabbing pain. The pain typically follows the nerve’s path, starting from the lower back and extending down through the buttock, thigh, calf, and sometimes to the foot.
Treatment for sciatica aims to relieve the pain and address the underlying cause. It may include a combination of physical therapy, exercise, hot or cold packs, medications to alleviate pain and inflammation, and in severe cases, surgery. Physical therapy and targeted exercises can help strengthen muscles, improve posture, and promote flexibility, which may alleviate pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Preventative measures involve maintaining good posture, engaging in regular exercise to strengthen the back and core muscles, lifting heavy objects with proper form, and avoiding prolonged sitting or standing. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight and managing conditions such as diabetes can reduce the risk of developing sciatica or exacerbating existing symptoms.
ORTHOKnox is available to help you if you are experiencing symptoms of sciatica. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms we discussed above, then you can go to the ORTHOKnox clinics in Knoxville, Tennessee, or Athens, Tennessee, to discuss your treatment options.
With its on-site physical therapists, board-certified Physiatrist, Dr. Adam Epps who specializes in Interventional Spine and Sports Medicine, and Urgent Orthopaedic Care that is available without an appointment, ORTHOKnox has got you covered. For more information about how ORTHOKnox can treat your Sciatica symptoms, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!