Pain from a pinched nerve is often referred to as sciatica. Sciatica describes irritation of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica symptoms include severe pain in the lower back, numbness or tingling sensations in the buttocks and down the leg, often extending to the foot and ankle.
Medical practitioners generally refer to a pinched nerve or sciatica as radiculopathy or radiculitis, which merely means inflammation of the sciatic nerve or sciatic nerve pain. Often times, true sciatic nerve pain and sciatica will originate from outside the spine.
How do you get a Pinched Nerve?
Severe pain in the lower back or true sciatica is really a sign of an underlying difficulty that’s causing the sciatic nerve irritation. For treatment of pinched nerve to be effective, the source of the sciatic nerve pain should be identified. Common medical conditions that give rise to sciatica include: Spondylolisthesis; Herniated Disc, Degenerative Disc Disease; Piriformis Syndrome , and Spinal Stenosis;
Sciatica Symptoms and Treatment
Most sciatica symptoms are self limiting, meaning that they resolve on their own. Resolution of the presenting signs and symptoms is normally within a few days to several weeks. Sciatica symptoms can range in intensity from a dull ache to a burning or hot poking sensation.
While sciatica symptoms can be quite severe, permanent nerve damage is rare. Warning signs suggestive of more serious issues consist of things like progressive leg weakness or difficulties with bowel and bladder function. If either of these symptoms are encountered, contact your physician immediately.
How is A Pinched Nerve Diagnosed?
A diagnosis of of a pinched nerve or sciatica symptoms is generally based on the findings of the medical examination alone. Generally, tension development along the course of the nerve and/or tenderness to direct touch can elicit symptoms. In either case, the term sciatica may be used to describe the findings. Additional evaluation, including diagnostic imaging, should to be performed to arrive at a definitive diagnosis.
Pinched Nerve Treatments
Due to the fact that symptoms from a pinched nerve is essentially irritability in the sciatic nerve and/or nerve root, pinched nerve treatment should be focused on alleviating the contributing factors that caused the sciatica symptoms. Specific sciatica treatment is aimed at decreasing the influence of muscle and joint dysfunction. Spinal decompression therapy is an excellent treatment for pinched nerve and could be utilized to offset the effects of the herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, or spinal stenosis. Be aware that the effects of spinal decompression are temporary.
If a sciatica nerve pain is determined to be related to spinal stenosis or a herniated disc, epidural steroid injections may be an effective treatment of pinched nerve pain. The premise of epidural steroid injections is localized management of sciatic nerve inflammation via the use of a very strong anti-inflammatory medication. Epidural injections might be utilized for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
As with any condition of the spine, surgery is only considered as a viable treatment of pinched nerve pain if all other forms of treatment have failed or there is a true medical emergency.
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