Just say the word “sciatica” and people cringe. If you have never suffered from it, consider yourself lucky. If you have had it or still do have it, you already know this condition can literally buckle your knees. This condition is actually the result of other medical issues, and not a “condition” that just develops on its own.
The sciatic never begins in the lower back and then continues down the back of each leg. This nerve generates some of the sensations you feel on the bottom of the foot, lower leg, and rear of the thigh. It also controls the muscles located in the lower leg and knee areas. Some conditions that can cause pain in this nerve are:
- Pelvic fracture or injury
- Slipped and / or herniated disks
- Spinal stenosis
Common Symptoms and Effects
There are different levels of pain, from mild annoyance to completely debilitating. It usually starts as a throbbing pain and continues as a constant ache. Over time, it can cause numbness or burning sensations in the affected areas.
The smallest of movements (and actually lack of movement) can cause the pain level to heighten. For instance, lying on your belly sleeping all night, long periods of standing or sitting, and even something as simple as sneezing can cause excessive pain.
To be sure you have sciatica, it is best to visit your general practitioner full a full diagnosis. In most cases, your doctor will recommend a specialist for further testing. Once diagnosed, the specialist will probably recommend some focused exercises and stretching, the use of ice and / or heat to the affected area, and physical therapy.
In addition to these standard treatments, doctors will often recommend additional treatments, such as chiropractic care and / or medical injections. Because everyone is different and their bodies react differently to these treatments, every case is unique and will be treated as such.
Finding the Right Doctors
It is very important that your doctors work together to treat this condition. Each of the doctor's should be informed as to what measures and medications are being used for treatment. This ensures that there are no conflicts concerning the therapy and medications being prescribed.
It is quite common for your general practitioner to recommend doctors in each field. In many cases, these doctors already have a working relationship and open lines of communication in place. Obviously, though, the doctors you can use may depend upon your insurance coverage.