Sciatic nerve is located in the lower back region and it runs through the hips and buttocks and passes on down to the legs. Sciatic nerve pain is the excruciating pain caused on one side of the body which is due to inflammation and numbness. The pain may last for few weeks and sometimes taking over the counter pain-killers will help to solve the issue. However for some people the pain will be very severe and chronic that it should be treated by operating the nerve inside for relieving the pressure.
This pain begins in the lower back region and spreads towards buttocks and narrows down to the back portion of the leg. There may be swelling of legs and discomfort along with severe pain. The affected person may find it difficult to walk or move his joints on some occasion. The pain is felt suddenly in the form of jolt or electric shock by many persons. The pain aggravates while coughing or sneezing and standing up after sitting for long time in the same position. Numbness is felt on one side of the legs or back region. Again the pain will not be felt in the entire leg but only in some part (thigh portion or foot) in the form of tingling sensation due to muscle weakness.
The worst part of this disease is it attacks the person all of a sudden with sharp pain in the legs or back. Sciatic nerve pain will fade within few days or a week. In case if the pain continues progressively you need to consult your doctor.
Sciatic nerve pain is caused when the sciatic nerve is inflamed or damaged due to injury or weakness. It can happen after trauma or bike accident suddenly. Sometimes the nerves inside the back will get injured slowly due to diabetic neuropathy.
Who are at risk?
Old age people, persons with diabetes and those whose job involves carrying heavy loads on the back are at the risk of getting sciatic nerve pain. This disease is caused by nerve damage and hence people with neurological disorder are also at risk.
Your doctor will complete physical examination and ask you to walk with raised toes or stand up after lying on your back. Certain activities will worsen the sciatic nerve injury and cause intense pain to the person. He may do MRI scanning or CT scan for detecting abnormality in the nerves and tissues and assess the intensity of inflammation or injury.
Mild form of sciatic nerve pain will settle quickly after you take pain-killers. For severe form of pain, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics or even antidepressant drugs to get relief from pain. For some people, anticonvulsant medications are prescribed for reducing nerve damage.
For getting immediate relief, steroid injection like cortisone is given on the affected area directly on the nerve root. After some days, the person will be given physiotherapy for strengthening of muscles and to gain flexibility.
If the nerves are weak and highly inflamed or if no response is shown on the above methods of treatment, surgery is the only option. Surgeon will ultimately remove the bone spur that has been putting pressure on the nerve causing sharp pain.
Home Remedies :
You can get temporary relief by applying ice pack or hot compression on the affected leg. Practice stretching exercise regularly so that the muscles gain strength gradually.