Sciatica pain has many variations. It can start immediately following an injury or occur gradually and mysteriously over a few months. It may be immediate and acute (short-lived) or chronic (long-lasting).
While over the counter medications can help address some types of back pain, only strong medications or orthopedic surgery can alleviate others. At times, it is difficult to pinpoint the source of the back pain. In other cases, it is easy to identify the pain source. Sciatica pain is a condition that is fairly simple to detect.
Southern California Hip Institute (SCHI), led by judicious board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tigran Garabekyan, provides treatments for the hip and knee to patients in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, and other towns and cities in this area of the nation.
How Sciatica Works
Sciatica usually initiates with a herniated disk in the lower (lumbar) spine. The bones that comprise the spine (vertebrae) are separated and padded by flexible, flat, round disks of connective tissue.
If a disk gets worn out due to injury or aging or overuse, its soft center may evacuate from the hard outer ring. This herniated disk may put a strain on the nerves that surround it. This leads to a lot of pain when pressure is exerted on the sciatic nerve.
In the human body, the sciatic nerve is the longest nerve. It begins in the lower back and divides to go through the hips, butt, legs, and feet on both sides of the body. Bone spurs and spinal stenosis (narrowing) may also exert pressure on the sciatic nerve situated in the lower back. In this condition, the patient may experience multiple issues all along the nerve.
A characteristic symptom of sciatic pain is that it runs from the lower back into the side or back of the legs. The pain ranges from mild to severe. The patient may also experience tingling, numbness, and weakness in the foot or leg.
Many people who experience sciatica are aged between 30 and 50 years.
Excessive weight exerts pressure on the spine. Therefore, individuals who are obese and pregnant women are at a higher risk of suffering from a herniated disk.
Diabetes can lead to nerve damage. This may cause sciatica.
Nature of Work
If a person’s job entails heavy lifting or sitting for long periods, it can lead to disk damage.
A majority of people experiencing sciatica will feel better in some weeks without any surgical involvement. Common pain meds such as Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen sodium) can help with pain relief. However, these are meant for short-term relief only.
The doctor may ask the patient to apply cold packs on the lower back for a few days and then switch to applying hot packs for a few days. A variety of stretches can be undertaken as well for pain relief from lower back and sciatic pain.
The patient’s first instinct may be to take rest when experiencing sciatic pain. However, it is vital to keep moving. Sitting still may cause the nerve to be continually irritated in that area.
Kind orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tigran Garabekyan receives patients from North Hollywood, Los Angeles, and nearby areas across the horizon for various orthopedic surgery procedures.
Dr. Tigran Garabekyan is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip preservation. To learn more about Southern California Hip Institute or to schedule a consultation, click here to contact us or call:
Serving patients in Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, West Hollywood, Century City, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and other neighboring cities in the greater Los Angeles, California area.
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