CHARACTERISTICS OF SCIATIC PAIN

 
Loss of Sensitivity
Reduction of the Reflexes of the Affected region
Decreased Muscle Strength
Tingling or Burning Sensation
Increased Pain in Orthostatism or Sitting
Intensification of Pain with the Elevation of Lower Limbs
Pain Radiating from the Lumbar spine to the posterior region of the Thigh or Leg
 
 
 
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Sciatic Pain

 
 
The sciatic nerve is considered the largest nerve in the human body: it extends from the posterior face of the hip, descending behind the thigh and knees until it reaches the first toe (hallux), that is, it goes from the lumbar spine to feet. It enables the movement of the leg muscles, allowing movement of the lower limbs joints, as well as being responsible for the sensations.
 
 
 
Pain in the sciatic nerve (or simply "sciatica") is caused by inflammation or damage in this, and by the pressure of the spine on the nerve. Generally, the rings that surround the lumbar disks rupture with increasing pressure, the nucleus escapes into the canal and compresses the nerve, causing pain.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Symptoms of the Disease

 
The symptoms of sciatica may be varied, but the most common are loss of sensation or reduction of the reflexes of the affected region; decreased muscle strength; tingling or burning sensation; pain radiating from the lumbar spine to the posterior region of the thigh or leg; increased pain in orthostatism or sitting; and intensification of pain with elevation of the lower limbs.

In general, symptoms may vary, however, in any case they have worsened at night and, generally, sciatica may be associated with low back pain. The symptoms affect men and women, and can intensify with age, because the structures of the spine suffer more wear and compromise the spinal cord and roots that give rise to the nerves.
 
 
 

Causes

 
The most common causes for sciatic nerve compression and the onset of painful processes are tumors, lumbar spine stenosis, pressure fractures (causing slippage of the vertebrae), trauma, congenital anomalies, disc herniation, osteoarthritis, piriformis muscle syndrome (a muscle spasm that compresses the sciatic nerve).
 
 
 
 
 
 

Diagnosis and Examination

 
The diagnosis of sciatic pain involves the evaluation of the clinical history, careful medical observation and analysis of complementary diagnostic exams, such as magnetic resonance imaging. Other neurological examinations may also be important for assessing the state of the sciatic nerve.
 
 
 

Treatment

 
Considering the sciatic pain as a symptom, treatment consists of the resolution of the causes that cause this pain. In some patients the treatment is conservative, but in the vast majority, it is necessary to resort to "non-surgical" techniques increasingly evolved, whose goal is to force the disc to retreat, without the need to "cut" the skin, bone or disc structures.