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Everything You Need to Know About Sciatica

Sciatica is a common but potentially excruciating condition causing low back pain that typically travels down one leg. Many people experience sciatica, and the experts at Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC in St. Clair Shores and Shelby Township, Michigan, have the expertise to help alleviate your pain. If you’re experiencing shooting pain down your leg or any kind of back problem, read on to learn more about sciatica and its treatment options.

What Causes Sciatica?

The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disk in your lower spine. This can happen when the gel-like center of a spinal disk pushes through its outer lining and irritates the nerve roots that lead to the sciatic nerve. Other causes include bone spurs, pregnancy, muscle strain, or even narrowing of the spine. Common symptoms include pain in one leg (often described as "electrical shocks"), numbness and tingling sensations, and difficulty moving part or all of the affected leg.

Risk Factors for Sciatica

Certain factors may increase your risk for developing sciatica including age (it typically affects people over 40), obesity, smoking, certain medical conditions (such as diabetes), physical activities (especially those involving heavy lifting or twisting), poor posture, stress on the lower spine from prolonged sitting or standing (such as during a desk job). Also if you're pregnant you may experience temporary sciatic nerve problems due to extra pressure on your lower spine from carrying extra weight around your abdomen.

Treating Sciatica Pain

There are many methods for treating sciatica depending on how severe it is and what’s causing it. In some cases, nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy exercises can be enough to reduce inflammation in your spine and ease your pain. Other treatments may include steroid injections for inflammation reduction or medications such as muscle relaxants or opioids for pain relief. If these don’t work, surgery may be an option to alleviate pressure from your nerves.

Sciatica can cause extreme discomfort that affects mobility and functionality if left untreated—so if you’re experiencing symptoms such as shooting pain down your leg or any kind of back problem—you should visit a specialist right away who can diagnose you accurately and provide effective treatments tailored to your individual needs. The team at Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC offers superior care and solutions if needed; so call today to get started.

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