What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a condition involving pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg. It occurs when there is damage to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is located in the back of the leg. It controls the muscles of the back of the knee and lower leg and provides sensation to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg and the sole of the foot.
Sciatica is also called sciatic nerve dysfunction
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica is caused by injury to or compression of the sciatic nerve.
The most common injuries that cause sciatica are:
In many cases, no cause can be identified.
Note: A ruptured lumbar disk in the spine may cause symptoms that simulate the symptoms of sciatic nerve dysfunction.
Symptoms of Sciatica
The most common symptoms of sciatica are:
Can Sciatica be Treated?
Yes. Treatment will depend on the cause. Treatments are usually aimed at maximizing mobility and independence. Surgical removal of lesions that press on the nerve, such as a herniated disc, may relieve symptoms. Injections can be used to reduce inflammation around the nerve. Medication may be prescribed to reduce nerve pain.
Physical therapy exercises may be appropriate for some people to maintain muscle strength. The use of braces, splints, orthopedic shoes, or other appliances may help compensate for lost or impaired function.
Complications of Sciatica
Some complications of sciatica are:
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