By Dr. Aveg Bhandari, Neurology
Sciatica refers to the collective conditions of pain in the upper and lower parts of your legs, and several types of painful sensations like burning, or less severe or very intense pain. It affects a substantial number of people and makes normal lifestyles very difficult. It causes pain even when you are completing trivial activities like walking or doing mild exercise.
While orthopaedics or physiotherapists are often contacted for complete cure of this disease, people miss a more suitable option: neurologists. The reasons a neurologist could best treat your sciatica are numerous.
What causes this disease?
Sciatic pain is caused due to the affliction of a nerve, which is why a neurologist is best suited to treat it. It occurs when your sciatic nerve is injured, which travels from your backside to your lower leg. It also serves the underside of your foot, the inside of your thigh and lower leg. Some forms of sciatica are progressive, and they cause such pain over time that the person loses the ability to move.
Sciatica patients should visit a neurologist for the following reasons-
The neurologist specializes in the neural system and its malfunctions alone – so, they are bound to have intensive knowledge in this regard, than other specialists do.
She/he will not only be able to provide remedies for your condition but also will be able to diagnose the underlying cause.
She/he will diagnose and treat the deep-rooted condition, which will make your relief from sciatica much longer lasting.
Diagnosis and treatment: what should you do once you have the disease?
Here is how you can detect whether or not you have sciatica-
• An MRI - A magnetic resonance imaging test is a major diagnostic tool that helps the medical world today. It involves lying on a bed that passes through a scanner and uses magnetic fields to detect several conditions, including sciatica.
• An EMG - An electromyograph particularly checks muscle movement. It, in association with nerve conduction study, is a useful technique to detect your sciatica, which causes pain and discomfort during muscle movements. These tests are important to know the extent, severity of nerve involvement, and help in deciding the type and strength of the medication. Surgery is rarely needed only if EMG suggests severe nerve damage.
Following are the best ways to manage sciatica-
• Physical therapy - This involves exercises that make you stretch your back and neck muscles, and they help reduce sciatic pain by relaxing the sciatic nerve. They can also help you gain a better posture.
• Medication - These should be taken only on the advice of your doctor. Non-steroidal inflammatory drugs are a popular choice in the treatment of sciatica. If the situation worsens, medicine could be injected directly into the sciatic nerve.
• Hot or cold packs - These should be used in a specified order. Cold packs come earlier, followed by the hot packs. They are useful in treating sciatica in combination in a number of cases.
Sciatica is a potentially debilitating disease that can cause significant changes in your happy lifestyle if not treated in due time. You can visit a neurologist for the best treatment after you have been diagnosed with the disease through reliable technology.