Sciatica, also known as lumbar radiculopathy, is pain along the sciatic nerve, which extends from the back of the pelvis down the back of the thigh. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, and also the primary nerve of the leg. It controls the muscles in the back of the lower leg and knee, while providing sensation to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg, and the sole of the foot. Sciatica is usually caused by a herniated or ‘slipped’ disc in the spine that presses on a spinal nerve. Less common causes include a spinal injury or infection, growth within the spine (tumour), or spinal stenosis (narrowing of the nerve passages in spine).
Signs & Symptoms
Common symptoms of sciatica include:
-Pain that extends down one leg
-Lower back pain that radiates down the buttock and/or back of one thigh
-Sensory changes, eg. numbness, pins and needles, the sensation of ants crawling
Symptoms may vary among individuals. Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Your doctor may check your medical history and perform a physical examination. The following diagnostic tests may be used to help understand the severity of the condition:
-Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Your doctor may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDS) to help alleviate the pain. Physiotherapy may also help to increase the range of motion over time. If your symptoms persist, you may be recommended to undergo surgery to take the pressure off the affected spinal nerve. It is important to talk to your doctor to understand your condition and the treatment options.
Make an Enquiry or Appointment Our Specialists