Common Back Problems: Sciatica

More than 65 million Americans suffer from back problems. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, back problems rank among the most common causes of missed work and job-related disabilities in the United States. Oftentimes, a back problem arises from a condition called sciatica.

Sciatica is often characterized by pain due to general compression or irritation of any of the five spinal nerve roots of each sciatic nerve. When the sciatic nerve is irritated, the patient can experience incapacitating pain, numbness, and/or a tingling sensation at the lower extremities of the body.

Relieving sciatic pain can take anywhere from weeks to years, depending on the cause. Medications are usually the first treatment option for sciatica patients. If medications don’t work, however, the patient may require orthopedic surgery, epidural injection, or even alternative medicines.

The main symptom of sciatica is pain that may be felt anywhere along the sciatic nerve, which can be in the lower back, the buttocks, or at the back of either leg. Pain can range from mild soreness to shooting or severe pain.

Patients with sciatica are generally seen by orthopedists. You’ll want to visit an orthopedic center soon if you suspect you have sciatica.


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