Lumbosacral Radicular Syndrome A.K.A “Sciatica” is characterized by shooting pain down the leg other symptoms may include numbness in the leg or tingling sensation (pins and needles). The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body which begins from the nerve roots in the spinal cord in the low back and goes down to buttocks and lower limb.
Causes for sciatica:
1. Protruded or herniated disc (most common) that is pushing against the nerve.
2. Stenosis-Narrowing of intervertebral foramen (space in which the nerve exits the spinal cord).
3. Degenerative disc disease- Natural process that occurs with aging to some extend.
4. Spondylolisthesis-one vertebral body slips forward on another.
5. Piriformis syndrome (less common)- tightness of the piriformis muscle which compresses the sciatic nerve.
HOW DO I TREAT MY SCIATICA?
Sometimes sciatica can go away on its own. Overall, the consensus is that it should be treated conservatively the first 6-8 weeks. The effectiveness of conservative treatment is controversial as depicted from several studies.
One systematic review looked at the effectiveness of injections, traction, physical therapy, bed rest, manipulation, medication, and acupuncture. From this study, there is no evidence that one type of treatment is clearly superior to others, including no treatment, therefore it is important to visit your primary care physician or physical therapist to get evaluated because treatment depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the pain.
In addition, those who have been experiencing this chronically (>3 months). Research has shown that some individuals may response to cognitive behavior therapy. Which involves managing your chronic pain by training individuals to react differently to their pain.