Sciatica is a debilitating condition in which the patient experiences pain and/or paresthesia (numbness) in the distribution of the sciatic nerve or an associated lumbosacral nerve root. Our L4 – S2 nerve roots make up our sciatic nerve. Sciatica is commonly described as an inflammatory condition.
Common causes of sciatica include, but are not limited to, herniated or bulging discs along L4 – S2, other various degenerative disease of the spine, or lumbar/pelvic muscular spasm, tension, and/or inflammation pressing on the sciatic nerve.
Patients usually present with pain in the low back, buttocks, and/or involved leg, weakness, numbness, impaired walking, and abnormal reflexes.
Certain habits or physical dysfunction can put you at risk for developing sciatica. Sciatica is a common occurrence among the elderly, individuals with improper lifting techniques, individuals who work manual labor, and individuals with poor mobility of the spine and lower extremities.
Physical therapy is a common treatment for individuals suffering from sciatica. Your physical therapist can provide with interventions that will promote, flexibility, strength, nerve mobility, as well as education on measures to prevent a return bout of sciatica. If conservative treatment is not effective, your physician may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications in the form of an oral pill or injection.