Sciatic pain is a condition in which patient experiences pain in the lower back, legs, feet as well as buttock. The reason for this pain is compression of sciatic nerve which may be associated with irritation of the nerve or nerve roots from where sciatic nerve arises. Some times, just irritation alone is responsible for causing the sciatic pain.
However, it is very important to know that compression or irritation of the nerve can arise from plenty of causes. Sciatic pain is just a condition and not a disease. The treatment option for sciatic pain should be selected according to the causes; then only, it can be cured completely. Some common causes for sciatic pain are spinal disc herniation, spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome, sacroiliac joint dysfunction and trigger points.
Symptoms of sciatic pain can play a significant role in the primary diagnosis of sciatic pain. As mentioned above, patient with sciatic pain experiences pain in his lower back, buttock or any part of the legs. No external symptoms are found. Generally, the symptoms are limited to one side of body as sciatica affects only restricted part of body.
- The pain may increase with time and in some cases, it may become very severe and unbearable.
- As nerves are affected, patient complains of numbness in lower parts of the body.
- Muscular weakness is commonly found and patient experiences difficulty in moving the legs.
- Moreover, control over legs is lost due to affected nerves.
Physical examination of the patient is a crucial part in the diagnosis of sciatic pain. During this examination, the doctor may ask the patient to position or move the legs and back in different styles. He will observe the pattern of pain.
If symptoms that are experienced by the patient indicate presence of sciatic pain, then the doctor prescribe the medications for treating the pain. Further diagnosis of sciatica may include several tests to point out the correct one among several possible reasons.
The imaging tests like X-ray are very useful for the diagnosis of sciatic pain.
- They can reveal the inner state of body and therefore possible abnormalities like compression, swelling, etc can be easily detected.
- They can also reveal the problems with spine.
- MRI (magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan can be also help for diagnosing the sciatic pain. You may also use MR neurography which is the latest modified MRI technique. It can offer better pictures of spinal nerves and effects of nerve compression.
In some cases, it is necessary to understand the habits and lifestyle of the patient. For example, pregnancy or over -weight can be responsible for developing sciatic pain. Therefore, in such conditions, the doctor has to study the effects of overweight, pregnancy and other such conditions on spine or sciatic nerves.
Diagnosis of sciatic pain is very important to decide adequate treatment option by understanding the causes. Proper and immediate treatment is necessary to relive the sciatic pain and live healthy life.