Radicular Pain - Sciatica

Radicular pain: Sciatica Continuing from our last blog. Sciatica is a prime example of

Kim Le

November 15, 2022

Radicular pain: Sciatica

Continuing from our last blog. Sciatica is a prime example of radicular pain. So what is Sciatica? One of the longest and widest nerves that innervates the lower leg, including the calf, ankle and posterior leg. Sciatica occurs when there is pressure compressing the nerve root either by muscle hypertonicity, spinal stenosis, disc herniation and piriformis syndrome. Sciatica causes a very distinctive sensation of an extremely sharp, dull, tingling and numbness imitating an electric shock, aggravated with more movement radiating down the leg. obvious signs to watch out for if you suspect you have sciatica:

  • pain that gradually increases from moderate to severe
  • sharp pain shooting towards the lower back that spreads to one leg
  • a burning or tingling sensation down the leg
  • leg tightness
  • Decreased foot mobility
  • pain is aggravated by prolonged sitting

The pain may intensify if the person coughs or sneezes or prolonged sitting may worsen the symptoms. Usually, only one side of the body is affected. Some people also feel shivering, tingling in the legs, pain in the hip and legs, or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot. Some have pain in one part of the leg and stiffness in the other part.

Is it treatable and how do I know if I have it?

Most sciatica cases can feel as if it can be severe however, most cases can be easily treated or reduced with non-surgical intervention within a couple of weeks. Some cases can be so severe that it’s impossible to stand up. The pain is aggravated by movement, prolonged sitting, coughing and/or sneezing.In order to determine if someone is suffering from sciatica, a physician will perform the straight leg test which is one major test to help differentiate  diagnosis between referred pain and radicular pain. The practitioner will passively lift the patients outstretched leg into flexion whilst  holding onto the knee, a positive testing is when  the patients starts to feel pain when leg is raised less than 90 degrees, a sharp shooting pain running along from the buttocks and down along the thighs, indicating positive sciatica

Self care:  How to reduce pain

  • Rest, reduced the need of movement: Since sciatica is aggravated by contestant movement it is best to reduce aggravation and allow the body. If sore area is aggravated apply cold compresses in the area for 15 -20minutes to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Lie on hard surfaces: relieving back pressure will help reduce weighted pressure on the sciatica region
  • Physical therapy: This will help reduce the reliability of painkillers and utilize a more natural and healthier approach to treatment. This includes: Chiropractors who can reduce pain by creating mobility within the joints  thus relieving muscle compression and muscle spasms. Soft tissue work from massage can also reduce tension and pressure by loosening up the region affected

Make sure to consult a health physician before attempting these exercises. If any of the self care exercises aggravates or worsens your condition be sure to stop and seek care from a health professional.

If you have any further questions about how we can help with Back pain and sciatica, head over to our Contact Us page, or book in now to make an appointment.

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