Low back pain is very common in many people today. Whether it's from an early childhood injury, sports related trauma, overuse or even a chronic condition, the level of pain and its consistency are described and treated on a case by case basis.
The low back pain being referred to is called sciatica. Sciatica is not a medical diagnosis in and of itself - it is a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as a lumbar herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, or spinal stenosis. These possible major medical conditions are all treatable, and sciatica is simply a byproduct of such an event occurring.
Sciatica is usually caused by improper technique when lifting heavy objects, twisting or bending. Bulging or ruptured disks that impede the primary functions of the spinal cord and premature arthritic conditions all cause pain if not treated early and correctly. Nerve damage near the lumbar and sacral areas of the spine could also contribute to pain. Muscle strains, infections and pregnancy are also some probable causes of sciatica.
The symptoms of sciatica are low back pain, minimal to severe leg pain on one side of the body, lower back and leg muscle weakness, pain during long periods of sitting and standing, and numbness to sharp pain in the initial affected area. The best way to confirm sciatica is to visit your primary health care provider or The Franklin Pain and Wellness Center for a spinal examination.
Unless all the options and resources in regards to treatment have been exhausted, patients should make a concerted effort to avoid surgery. Common treatments for sciatica include relieving back pain by the usage of prescription medications, applying heat and ice packs, receiving epidural steroid injections to prevent inflammation, and massages. Also, people can lower their risk of back problems by exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and practicing good posture. Learning to bend and lift properly, sleeping on a firm mattress, sitting in supportive chairs, and wearing low-heeled shoes are other important factors.
Around 60-80 percent of the adult population in the U.S. suffer from low back pain and it's also the second greatest reason people visit the doctor. This is a large and concerning figure to imagine. Whether people have low back pain or not, it should be imperative to practice good habits to decrease this percentage.
In summary, sciatica can originate from several different factors and conditions, but the positive thing is that it can be treated in multiple ways. If the symptoms are evident, research the possible treatments, preventive measures and long term effects if not treated. For more information on treating sciatica, including epidural steroid injections, contact Franklin Pain and Wellness Center.