Sciatica – Diagnosis Sciatica is back and/or leg pain caused by pressure onthe sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is one of the largest nerves in the body. It starts at the lowerback and runs down behind the hip joint, through the buttocks, and along the back of each leg to the foot. Sciatic pain can range from mild to severe. It often gets worse when sitting, coughing, or sneezing. Sciatica differs from other back pain in that it usually occurs on only one side of the body, starting at the lower back and running down one leg to the foot.
Treatment Sciatica is best treated by eliminating the nerve pressure directly. Chiropractors focus on doing this exclusively, and depending on the cause, treatment times may vary, but no other discipline is as effective for this. No medication will physically remove sciatic nerve pressure. During an episode of sciatica, there are a number of treatments available to help with the pain, such as:
Rarely do people with sciatica require surgery. However, if the pain does not improve in four to six weeks, additional tests may be needed to identify the cause of the pressure on the sciatic nerve. If the cause is found to be from a herniated disc, the degree of severity will also need to be evaluated. Most disc injuries of this type will respond to conservative treatment.
There are many different kinds of disc problems and variations of disc herniations, and depending on who you see, the recommendations may differ. Surgeons may suggest surgery only. Orthopedists may do a trial of cortisone injections. Rehab facilities may look at physical therapy and rehab. One thing is certain: Surgery should be your last option and it’s recommended that you exhaust all other means first. Once surgery is performed, there’s no going back, so consider your choice wisely.