- What is Sciatica?
- Statistics on Sciatica
- Risk Factors for Sciatica
- How is Sciatica Diagnosed?
- Prognosis of Sciatica
- How is Sciatica Treated?
- Sciatica References
- Drugs/Products Associated with Sciatica
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is defined as pain caused by pressure or irritation of the sciatic nerve. It can cause pain anywhere along the distribution of the sciatic nerve from the lower back to the sole of the foot. It can also cause changes in sensation and muscle power of the leg. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve the size of a little finger. They originate from the spinal column in the lower back and travel behind the hip joint, down the buttock and down the back of the leg to the foot.
Statistics on Sciatica
Sciatica has been reported to occur in 1 to 10% of the population, most commonly in people age 25 to 45 years.
Risk Factors for Sciatica
Injury to the sciatic nerve is most commonly caused by entrapment of the nerve at the base of the spine, which may be related to prolonged sitting or lying with pressure on the buttocks. Most of the time people with sciatica do not recall a specific injury that caused the symptoms. Sciatica can also be caused by pelvic fractures, gunshot wounds and other trauma to the buttocks or thighs. Spinal stenosis, which occurs as people get older, can but pressure on the sciatic nerve on both sides and this can result in sciatica on both sides of the body. Masses in the pelvis such as a tumour, abscess or bleeding can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
How is Sciatica Diagnosed?
Sciatica is a clinical diagnosis and does not usually require any investigations. In some cases, when the diagnosis is uncertain or if the pain is not spontaneously resolving, imaging and other investigations may be required.
Prognosis of Sciatica
Approximately 90% cases of sciatica will resolve with conservative treatment, of which most gradually settle within 12 weeks (3 months).
How is Sciatica Treated?
Acute sciatica:Spontaneous recovery can be expected, however supportive treatment can include:
- A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia [Internet]. Atlanta (GA): A.D.A.M., Inc.; (c)2005. Sciatica; [updated 2004 August 3; cited 2006 April 2]; Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000686.htm
- Baldwin, J. Horwitz, J. Lumbar (intervertebral) disc disorders). eMedicine. 2006. Available at: http://www.emedicine.com/emerg/topic303.htm
- Gibson JNA, Grant IC, Waddell G. Surgery for lumbar disc prolapse. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2000, Issue 3. Art.No.: CD001350. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001350.
- Lex, J. Sciatica. eMedicine Consumer Health. 2006. Available at: http://www.emedicine.com/aaem/topic490.htm
- Murtagh, J. General practice. 3rd ed. 2003. McGraw Hill. Sydney.
- Watts, R. Silagy, C. A meta-analysis on the efficacy of epidural corticosteroids in the treatment of sciatica. Anaesth Intensive Care. 1995; 23: 564-569.
Symptoms of This Disease:
Drugs/Products Used in the Treatment of This Disease:
- Brufen (Ibuprofen)
- Lignocaine Hydrochloride Injection (Lignocaine hydrochloride)
- Naprosyn (Naproxen)
- Nurofen (Ibuprofen)
- Paracetamol (Paracetamol)
Modified: 11/2/2008 Created: 2/4/2006
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