What Causes A Pinched Nerve? Sciatica Diagnosis & Treatment

A Burning Sensation

Sciatica is a term used to describe the radiating pain that extends down the sciatic nerve. This pain runs from the lower back through the hips and buttocks down each leg. Sciatica can be caused by a herniated disk, narrowing of the spine, pinched nerve, or a bone spur on the spine. Chronic nerve compression can cause inflammation, pain, and numbness.

Risk factors for sciatica

A pinched nerve can lead to sciatic nerve pain. A variety of risk factors can increase the chance of a person developing sciatica. With age, spine changes can lead to herniated disks and bone spurs. Excess weight can also contribute to spine deformities. Jobs that require sitting for extended periods or twisting the back and carrying heavy loads can increase the risk of developing sciatic pain. Diabetes can also increase the risk of nerve damage.

Sciatica diagnosis

Sciatic pain can be relieved with non-surgical procedures, but only if treated early. Symptoms can range from a burning sensation to a sharp electric jolt feeling. Patients should consult a doctor when home remedies stop working for sciatica. During a physical exam, doctors will test muscle strength and reflexes using certain activities. Imaging tests such as x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and EMGs are used for severe sciatica cases.

Treatment options for sciatica

When self-care measures such as exercise, stretching, and ice and heating packs aren’t effective, a doctor may recommend a range of treatment options for sciatica. Medications such as anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants can relieve the discomfort. Physical therapy can help improve posture and strengthen muscles. Steroid injections can reduce pain and inflammation in the nerve for a few months, while surgery can fix a bone spur or a herniated disk for long-term relief.

Preventing a pinched nerve

A pinched nerve occurs gradually as a result of unhealthy lifestyle habits. A few lifestyle changes can prevent a pinched nerve and reduce the risk of sciatica. People should maintain a healthy weight, perform strength and flexibility exercises, and reduce repetitive activities such as sitting or lying in one position for an extended period. A healthy lifestyle is enough to prevent or reduce the burning sensation of a pinched nerve and permanent nerve damage. For more information about sciatica pain and treatment options, speak with a healthcare provider.

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2020-06-01T20:30:44-05:00
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