Risk Factors For Sciatica

by Administrator 14. July 2015 13:06

Sciatic nerve extends from the lower end of the spinal cord to the back of the thigh. It divides above the knee joint and is the largest single nerve in the human body. Sciatica is the condition marked by pain, numbness and a sensation of weakness running down, through the sciatic nerve. It is one of the most common conditions caused due to compression of the spinal nerves in the lower back. The symptoms experienced during Sciatica may differ in individuals depending upon where the pressure is exerted on the sciatic nerve.

Some of the risk factors that may affect the onset and the intensity of the symptoms of Sciatica are:

  • Age: Intervertebral disks begin weakening and growing thinner with increasing age. They lose moisture and shrink, thus increasing the risk of Sciatica.
  • Weight: Overweight people have higher chances of suffering from Sciatica because of excessive pressure exerted on the spine.
  • Gender: Women tend to lose bone density at the time of menopause, which affects the sciatic nerve.
  • Occupation: Heavy lifting, bending for prolonged duration, driving for long periods, etc. can stress the sciatic nerve.
  • Inactiveness: Extended periods of sitting can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and lead to irritation. As a result, people with jobs that involve constant sitting are at a higher risk of Sciatica than those with active routines.
  • Stressful activities: Certain activities like twisting the back or bending, which may put pressure on the back, may create pressure on the sciatic nerve and lead to Sciatica.
  • Pregnancy: The abdominal organs shift during pregnancy, building up pressure on the spine and the sciatic nerve.
  • Walking and running: People who walk and run regularly can develop Sciatica due to the constant contraction of the muscle in the hip. This muscle contraction can lead to irritation in the sciatic nerve, causing pain and weakness.
  • Diabetes: This condition affects the use of blood sugar by the body, which increases nerve damage and leads to the development of Sciatica.
  • Other conditions: Certain health conditions such as Degenerative Arthritis, Lumbar Disc Disease, Stress Fractures, Hyperlordosis, Juvenile Chronic Arthropathy etc. can also expose one to the risk of Sciatica, by causing irritation in the sciatic nerve.

The spine specialists at OrthoTexas, Frisco provide complete diagnosis and treatment for Sciatica. To schedule an appointment with the doctor, you can call at (214) 618 – 5502 or visit 5757 Warren Pkwy, Suite 180, Frisco, TX 75034

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Sciatica: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 21. May 2015 08:17

Sciatica is a set of symptoms such as excruciating pain and numbness in the lower back, hips and parts of legs. It is an indication of an underlying medical condition such as Degenerative Disk Disease, Herniated Disk or Spinal Stenosis. Sciatica can interfere with performing daily activities and an orthopedic surgeon must be consulted for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Causes:

  • Pregnancy
  • Degenerative Disk Disease
  • Lumbar Herniated Disc
  • Tissue or muscle injury
  • Compressed Sciatic Nerve
  • Trauma to the spine
  • Accident
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Spinal Tumors
  • Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
  • Muscle strain
  • Scar tissue

Symptoms:

  • Lower Back Pain
  • Constant pain in one side of the hip and leg
  • Pain that initiates in the hip and travels down the path of the Sciatic nerve, till the foot and through the thigh
  • Pain worsens while standing or sitting
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Pin and needles sensation in the leg
  • Sharp pinching pain in the leg

Diagnosis:

  • Physical examination: The orthopedic doctor may perform a physical test such as elevating each leg to determine the extent of motion. This test pinpoints the area of pain and the affected nerves, enabling the doctor to diagnose Sciatica.
  • X-Rays: An X-Ray report can indicate any injury or fracture in the backbone that maybe exerting pressure on the nerve.
  • Other tests: Other tests such as MRI and CT Scan can also help in determining the cause of pain.

Treatment:

  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy including exercises such as soft aerobics and stretching, which help the patient control Sciatic pain by reducing the pressure on the nerve. It also improves the flexibility and movement of the concerned leg.
  • Medicines and Spinal injections: Doctor may also prescribe pain relieving medicines or injections to provide temporary comfort.
  • Surgery: People in severe pain need to undergo surgical treatments such as Microdiscectomy or Laminectomy, in which the tissue causing pressure on Sciatic Nerve is removed.

Prevention:

  • Posture: Maintain a good posture when driving, sitting, walking, lifting or exercising. You must also ensure that your mattress is firm, keeps the spine straight and supports your back during sleep.
  • Avoid Weights: You must avoid lifting heavy weights and if you must then follow the proper lifting technique.
  • Exercise: Perform regular exercises and keep your body active. Strong lower back muscles delay age related degeneration of disks and avoid Sciatica.

 

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