The Sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body that travels from lower back/hip region upto the lower leg. The function of a nerve is to transmit electrical signal to and from the brain so that various functions like movement of muscles in the limbs, feeling of sensations like touch, hot/cold, pin prick etc. can be perceived and controlled better by the brain. When the sciatic nerve gets pressed or irritated along its course, it can lead to pain along the path it travels (i.e. it can cause pain in the lower back, hip region, thigh, leg and foot. Such a pain can be present in all or some of these locations). This pain is commonly called as Sciatica. The pain can also be accompanied by various other sensations like numbness or tingling or electric current like feeling in the affected area.
Initially, a small period of few days’ bed rest is recommended along with pain medication, muscle relaxants, nerve calming medication and relaxed posture. Maintaining good posture while sitting and standing and following an exercise routine regularly can also stave off sciatica considerably.
Traditional treatment for sciatica and sciatica treatment at home can also help sometimes. Spinal manipulation treatment for sciatica is also considered by some but it should be considered with a word of caution as sometimes it can do more harm than good. Hot and cold compressions are also recommended by the doctors in order to lessen the pain. Acupressure for sciatica, Manual therapy for sciatica treatment and Physiotherapy for sciatica are also some of the other methods to treat this problem. In most of the conservative methods of treatment, the mechanism of relief is body’s own disease fighting system that reduces the inflammation of the sciatic nerve. Therefore, most of sciatica patients can improve with nonsurgical treatment for sciatica.
Sciatica surgery is needed in a small number of cases. Best surgery for sciatica is usually done by using small keyhole cut given in the back, using the endoscopic sciatica treatment technique (where the best sciatica surgeon will introduce a small tube like camera – the endoscope, into the patient’s spine under careful monitoring. then the surgeon removes any pressure from the nerve while protecting it from any harm). Endoscopic spine surgery falls under the domain of minimally invasive spine surgery and is one of the most modern and safe methods to treat sciatica surgically, when needed.
Other conventional procedures like microdiscectomy, lumbar laminectomy and open discectomy are also practiced by some surgeons and spine centers, but they are becoming less relevant since the advent of endoscopic techniques.
- Ache from spine to hips
- Discomfort in lower back, hips
- Discomfort/pain in the back of thighs and calf
- Numbness in legs
- Pain aggravates while sneezing
- Altered sensation in feet and toes
Slip Disc, spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome are some of the common causes of sciatica. Other causes could be spinal TB or infection, sometimes spinal tumour and minor injury/fracture can also cause sciatica pain.