Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Do I Have Sciatica? How Can I Tell?

Back pain comes in all shapes and sizes, just like people, and it does that for same reason - we are all different and pain affects us all differently. One of the more common words that people throw around when they are in pain is ‘sciatica.’ Although it is regularly used in conversation to mean a specific disorder, sciatica is in fact a group of symptoms and a condition in itself at all.

That being said, how can you tell if it really is sciatica? What are the symptoms to look out for? We’ll review a few below, but make no mistake, this blog post is not to take the place of actual diagnostic tests and seeing a doctor who can interpret them. If you are experiencing any of the below problems, talk to someone with expertise in your area. Living Well Medical, my practice, in NYC is equipped to help in these situations.

On to the meat and potatoes.

Perhaps the most common complaint with sciatica is burning, stinging pain in the lower back. The sensation is often, but not always, the result of a pinched or crushed nerve root. It is extremely unpleasant and sometimes debilitating.

Leg pain and pain in the buttocks that shoot out from the lower back are also common problems with sciatica. Again, this is usually because nerves are impinged due to a problem like a herniated disc or other musculoskeletal condition.

Also associated with sciatica is a pins and needles sensation (formally called paresthesia) or numbness in the lower back, buttocks and legs (all areas that are supplied nerve sensation by the radicular nerves that exit at the base of the spine.

If you feel any of these problems, talk to an expert. Give my office in SoHo NYC a call and make an appointment for treatment. We’re here to help.

-Dr. Shoshany, NYC chiropractor

(Check out my friend, Dr. Eben Davis, a San Francisco chiropractor, for more on non-surgical remedies.)

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