What Is The Pain Of Sciatica
Patients suffering with sciatica usually have one or more of these symptoms:
- Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or one leg
- Pain that is worse when sitting
- Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg, foot, and/or toes
- Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling, or searing
- A sharp pain that makes it difficult to stand up or walk
- Pain that radiates down the leg and possibly into the foot and toes
A couple things to note. This pain isnt usually in both legs, as a specific nerve is behind the pain. The pain wont be only in your foot it will have passed through the butt and legs as well.
Should I Rest If I Have Sciatica
Some rest and change in your activities and activity level may be needed. However, too much rest, bed rest, and physical inactivity can make your pain worse and slow the healing process. Its important to maintain as much activity as possible to keep muscles flexible and strong.
Before beginning your own exercise program, see your healthcare provider or spine specialist first to get a proper diagnosis. This healthcare professional will refer you to the proper physical therapist or other trained exercise or body mechanics specialist to devise an exercise and muscle strengthening program thats best for you.
How A Pinched Nerve Can Affect Your Whole Body
Your nerves communicate messages of sensation throughout your entire body from your head to your feet, and everything along the way. When you pinch a nerve through trauma, overuse, poor posture, or gradual deterioration of your body, it cries out in distress to your brain.
While a nerve may be pinched in a specific place and cause symptoms there, it also has the potential to send pain signals to other areas of the body. Pinched nerves can really happen anywhere, but they most commonly occur in the spine. And the pain from pinched nerves in the spine can travel throughout the body.
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Is The Weight Of Pregnancy The Reason Why So Many Pregnant Women Get Sciatica
Its true that sciatica is common in pregnancy but increased weight is not the main reason why pregnant women get sciatica. A better explanation is that certain hormones of pregnancy cause a loosening of their ligaments. Ligaments hold the vertebrae together, protect the disks and keep the spine stable. Loosened ligaments can cause the spine to become unstable and might cause disks to slip, which leads to nerves being pinched and the development of sciatica. The babys weight and position can also add pressure to the nerve.
The good news is there are ways to ease sciatic pain during pregnancy, and the pain goes away after birth. Physical therapy and massage therapy, warm showers, heat, medications and other measures can help. If you are pregnant, be sure to follow good posture techniques during pregnancy to also ease your pain.
Nerve Pain And Numbness In The Feet Could Be Coming From Your Back Even If You Dont Have Back Pain
Home » Nerve Pain and Numbness in the Feet Could Be Coming From Your Back Even If You Dont Have Back Pain
We depend on our feet every day, but we dont really give them much thought until they are bothering us. Many individuals can feel chronic pain in their legs, on the bottoms or tops of their feet, in their calves, or along their thighs. They may also similarly feel odd tingling, numbness, or shooting sensations in these areas. The symptoms may be accompanied by stiffness, muscle weakness, or sometimes difficulty walking and moving around.
There are many possible causes of these symptoms, including a condition known as neuropathy, which is common in individuals with diabetes, a heart condition, or metabolic syndrome.
However, the pain, numbness, and tingling could also be related to nerve compression in the lower back. These are the same conditions that frequently cause lower back pain, stiffness, and limited mobility in 16 million Americans. Yet, you dont have to actively have lower back pain to feel the effects on your feet!
If you are experiencing odd sensations in your legs, feet, or extremities in general, then investigating the health of your lower back could be a good place to start. You can book an appointment with a podiatrist near you to evaluate your condition and get started on the most appropriate treatment.
Read on for more information about foot pain/nerve sensations and their possible relationship to your lower back.
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How Is A Pinched Nerve In The Back Diagnosed
Your doctor will first ask you about your symptoms. Its important to provide as many details as you can, such as how long youve been experiencing pain and discomfort, how its affecting your quality of life, and whether youve recently experienced any recent injuries.
Next, your doctor will look for physical signs of trauma or other issues in your low back by checking for possible:
- limited range of motion
- changes to reflexes in your legs
- weakness in the muscles
- changes in sensation in the lower extremities
Your doctor may not be able to diagnose the pinched nerve from a physical examination alone. Additionally, they may want to know more about the cause of the pinched nerve.
They may order the following tests to get more information:
- X-ray:shows the bones in your vertebrae
- MRI:shows your soft tissues, including the discs in your vertebrae, your spinal cord, and the nerves in your lower back
- CT scan:shows a very detailed picture of your lower back and can be used to evaluate bony structures and muscles
Such imaging tests are typically ordered in the case of long-term symptoms only. For example, doctors may not order imaging tests for sciatica unless symptoms last for
- physical therapy
- other lifestyle adjustments
Sometimes your doctor will need to treat the pinched nerve with more invasive measures, such as spinal injections or surgery.
Low Back Pain And Leg Tingling
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When To Visit A Doctor For Sciatica
Mild sciatica resolves on its own. However, you should see a doctor for your lower back pain and leg numbness if the pain persists for more than a week or becomes progressively worse.
Your pain occurs after a trauma like a traffic accident
Your pain is sudden and severe, radiating from your lower back or leg
You are experiencing numbness or muscle weakness in your lower leg
You have difficulty controlling your bowels and bladder
Your pain is accompanied by fever, nausea, and unintended weight loss
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Back pain and swelling in the feet and legs that have not improved after one month warrants a visit with your healthcare provider to help determine the underlying cause. Having both symptoms at the same time without an injury to either your back, legs, or feet may indicate an underlying condition that needs to be treated.
If you exhibit significant pain, redness, warmth, and swelling in your legs, or experience fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, you should seek immediate medical attention as these are signs of an infection.
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What Are Your Goals For This Surgery
Making a decision about sciatica surgery when you are in a lot of pain can be tough. Be sure to discuss with your surgeon the post-surgery goals, especially those around pain and activity. Are you expecting to go back to work and the gym in a week? Are you hoping the pain will be gone entirely and for good?
Although most people experience up to 90 percent improvement in their pain levels after a sciatica surgery, no doctor can guarantee this. Numbness may still be present after the surgery, and there is always a chance of sciatica coming back at another vertebra.
Depending on the type of sciatica surgery, most people are walking the next day, and full recovery typically takes two to four weeks. Minimally invasive surgery usually means faster recovery, but if the surgery involves more than one vertebra or disc, your back may take longer to heal.
How A Chiropractor Can Treat Pain Related To Sciatica
Visiting a chiropractor in Chicago is one of the best ways to treat sciatica pain. Sciatica is caused when pressure is applied to the sciatic nerve. This pressure can be caused by:
- Spinal misalignment or slipped / herniated discs. Chiropractors can treat these conditions by manipulating the spine and restoring spinal alignment.
- Spinal stenosis. While chiropractic care cannot correct spinal stenosis, regular chiropractic treatments can stave off the development or progression of spinal stenosis.
- A tight piriformis muscle. Chiropractors can treat this by using a number of different techniques, from spinal manipulation, to massage, to stretching, both in the office and as a directed at-home treatment
Due to the different causes of sciatica, its essential that the cause of the pain is diagnosed correctly. Only through the correct diagnosis, can the best and most rewarding treatment plan be created.
Best Treatment for Sciatica Pain in Chicago
Before you undergo any treatment for sciatica pain at Advanced Spine & Sports Care, well perform a proper diagnosis, which will involve a review of your medical history and a physical examination. In some instances, the diagnosis may also involve further tests that will enable us to gain a more in-depth understanding of your condition.
A treatment plan for sciatica at Advanced Spine & Sports Care can involve many different treatments, including:
- Spinal manipulation
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Herniated Disk In The Lower Back
A herniated, ruptured, or “slipped” disc means that a vertebral disc â one of the soft pads of tissue that sit between each of the vertebral bones â has becomes squeezed out of shape. Its cushioning material has been forced against, and possibly through, the ring of fibrous tissue that normally contains it. This causes pain, numbness, and weakness in the legs.
The normal aging process causes the discs lose moisture and become thinner, making them more vulnerable to “slipping.”
Most susceptible are men from ages 30 to 50. Smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, and improper lifting are also risk factors.
Symptoms include pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling in the back, leg, and foot.
Diagnosis is made through patient history, neurological examination, and MRI scan.
Treatment begins with rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and sometimes epidural steroid injections into the back to ease pain and inflammation.
Surgery to remove the herniated part of the disc â the part that was squeezed out of place â can also be helpful.
Top Symptoms: lower back pain, moderate back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, back pain that gets worse when sitting, leg weakness
Urgency: Primary care doctor
When To See A Doctor
Any chronic low back pain ought to be checked by a doctor, especially if your symptoms interfere with your daily activities. By properly identifying a pinched nerve and the possible underlying cause, your doctor can then direct you to treatments that can help.
If youre currently undergoing treatment for a pinched nerve in your lower back, its also important to see your doctor if symptoms worsen or dont improve within 4 to 6 weeks.
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Ready To Address Your Back Pain
The University of Maryland Spine Network can help you put your pain behind you. With convenient locations throughout the state, the UM Spine Network is home to the region’s leading spine surgeons and specialists that can help you identify the source of your pain and put an end to it for good.
Put an end to your back pain. Find a spine specialist near you.
In This Section:
Sciatica: Causes Symptoms And Treatments
If you suffer from sciatica, you know how painful it can be. It can disrupt your daily life, affecting everything from sitting in the car to standing in the kitchen to make a meal.
Sciatica is a term used for any pain or symptom that causes numbness or sensation like tingling along the sciatic nerve. This means sciatic nerve pain isnt a true diagnosis, but a description of the pain you are experiencing that can help doctors properly assess your pain to determine a source.
The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back through your hips and down each leg. Generally, when a patient experiences sciatica, it only affects one side of the body.
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When To Call The Doctor
Your sciatica may go away on its own, but if your pain is severe or doesnât go away, you may want to see your doctor. Sciatica can be treated with physical therapy, medication, and surgery.
Seek immediate medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Weakness in your lower extremities
- Numbness in your leg
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Severe pain in your lower back or leg
Back Problems That Cause Leg Pain
Almost everyone at some point in their life develops lower back pain. This part of your back includes your lumbar spine, which is responsible for supporting much of your upper body weight.
Aging and the stress of your body weight leads to degeneration of the components that make up your spine, including the discs, ligaments, cartilage, and vertebrae. These degenerative changes are often the source of lower back pain, as well as your leg pain. Back problems that cause leg pain include:
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You’ve Been In Pain For Over A Week
Most back pain will subside after a few days, but if you’ve been experiencing pain for over a week, then it’s time to call a doctor. Your doctor will perform any examinations or tests required to help get to the bottom of your pain before it could become a bigger problem. As is the case with many health conditions, prevention and addressing problems early is key.
Your Pain Extends To Other Body Parts
If you’re experiencing severe back pain that is coupled with pain in other areas such as shooting pain down your leg then you should see a doctor. This could be a sign that you have sciatica, a form of pain that affects the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back and through the buttocks before branching down each leg. This condition usually results from a herniated disk. A doctor will be able to offer a variety of ways that you can relieve this pain.
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What Are Common Sciatica Symptoms
Sciatica is the most common symptom of lumbar radiculopathy, a condition described as pain, and sensations such as numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, or poor reflexes found along the path of a nerve.
Radiculopathy means irritation or injury to a nerve root that causes pain and other symptoms that radiate away from the affected nerve root. In the case of sciatica, usually the pain is felt as low back pain that radiates down the leg.
Pain is the hallmark sciatica symptom. Although sciatica symptoms may be felt anywhere along the sciatic nerve, classic sciatica radiates from the low back into the butt, and down the leg to below the knee. In fact, your doctor will usually check for sciatica if you have low back pain. Less commonly, sciatica pain may be felt starting in the buttocks or hip area and radiates down the leg.
Sciatica pain is often described as electric, burning, or sharp. The nerve pain can vary from mild to excruciating and can worsen when you bend down, twist your spine, or cough.
Although you have two sciatic nerves , sciatica symptoms typically only occur on one side of the body. If you have radiating pain down both of your legs, it is less likely that the pain is caused by a pinched sciatic nerve, Dr. Wang says.
In addition to pain, if the sciatic nerve is compressed, the muscles it serves may become weak. It may be hard to bend your knee, bring your thighs together , and point your foot and/or toes upward or downward.
What Signs Suggest That A Pinched Nerve Is Causing Abdominal Pain
There are several nerves attached to the abdominal wall, muscles, and organs which provide motor and sensory function. If one of these nerves become pinched, you may experience:
- Persistent radiating pain in the abdominal region
- Pain that feels like it moves from the front to back of the abdomen
- The pain is localised, sharp, or burning
- Pain levels can change when you twist, bend, or sit up
Its always a good idea to talk to a health care professional if you experience these types of symptoms, as there are multiple potential causes
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When To See A Doctor For Lower Back Pain And Leg Pain
Experiencing lower back pain when lifting one or both of your legs can be a difficult situation to cope with. The good news is that most lower back pain can be managed with a few lifestyle changes or home remedies and will eventually resolve on its own. If your lower back and leg pain gets worse or doesn’t go away over the course of a couple of weeks, it’s important to seek medical attention. Diagnosing the cause of your lower back pain is the best way to alleviate discomfort and prevent it from returning.
Some other practical tips to prevent lower back and leg pain from occurring in the future include: