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Sciatic: symptom not disease

Sciatica is a relatively common symptom of nerve compression that can by caused by different disease processes. It typically presents as intermittent or constant, mild to excruciating shooting, tingling or burning pain from the lower back, down the buttock to the back of the leg and foot. Pain is made worse by bending over, heavy lifting and simply standing up or sitting down. Compression of the sciatic nerve can be from spinal narrowing (stenosis), disc prolapse ('pinched nerve'), piriformis syndrome, vertebral arthritis and ligament sprains. Treatment is with the use of analgesics to reduce pain, avoidance of movements that exacerbate the pain i.e. sitting, bending, and support for the spine with a brace and firm mattress is recommended. Physiotherapy is beneficial and prescribed exercises act to improve the symptom, rather than irritate it, so resting the back should be avoided. Medical assistance should also be quickly ascertained if the sufferer experiences a loss of control of their bowel or bladder, or loss of sensation or power to the lower limb. Surgery needs only be considered in persistent sciatica after conservative measures have be tried and tested.

Source: summary of medical news story as reported by The Tribune

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About: Sciatic: symptom not disease

Date: 2005

Source: The Tribune

Author: Ravinder Chadha


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