About Sciatica Arthritis Pain, Symptoms & Treatment
Sciatic Arthritis is an issue involving problems with the sciatic nerve, which is a nerve that goes from lower-back and down the back of each leg. It controls muscles in the back of knees and lower-leg and gives feelings to the back of your thigh, part of your lower-leg and the sole of the foot side of your body.
Sciatica may be caused by a ruptured vertebrae disk or a narrowing of the spinal canal which increases pressure on the spinal stenosis nerve. An injury can also case the condition, i.e. pelvic fracture. It' not uncommon for no sciatica arthritis causes to be determined. Arthritis sciatica may go away on its own. Medical treatment (if in fact is needed), depends on the problems cause. Treatment options can include exercises, medicine and possible surgery.
Sometimes sciatica goes away on its own. Treatment, if needed, depends on the cause of the problem. It can involve exercise, medications or surgery.
Sciatica refers to pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg. It is caused by injury to or compression of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is a symptom of another medical problem, not a medical condition on its own.
Causes of Sciatic Arthritis Pain
Sciatica occurs when there is pressure or damage to the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in the spine and runs down the back of each leg. This nerve controls the muscles of the back of the knee and lower leg and provides sensation to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg, and the sole of the foot.
Common causes of sciatica include:
- Piriformis syndrome (pain involving the narrow muscle located in the buttocks area.
- Slipped disk
- Degenerative disk disease
- Damaging inflammation
- Spinal stenosis
- Pelvic injury or fracture
- Joint Pain and Swelling
Symptoms of Sciatica Arthritis
Sciatica pain can vary widely. It may feel like a mild tingling, dull ache, or a burning sensation. In some cases, the pain is severe enough to make a person unable to move.
The pain most often occurs on one side. Some people have sharp pain in one part of the leg or hip and numbness in other parts. The sensations may also be felt on the back of the calf or on the sole of the foot. The affected leg may feel weak.
The pain often starts slowly. Sciatica pain may get worse:
- After standing or sitting
- At night
- When sneezing, coughing, or laughing
- When bending backwards or walking more than a few yards, especially if caused by spinal stenosis
Exams and Tests for Sciatica Arthritis
Sciatica might be revealed by a neuromuscular examination of the legs by a physician. There may be weakness of knee bending or foot movement, or difficulty bending the foot inward or down. Reflexes may be abnormal, with weak or absent ankle-jerk reflex. Pain down the leg can be reproduced by lifting the leg straight up off the examining table.
Tests are guided by the suspected cause of the dysfunction, as suggested by the history, symptoms, and pattern of symptom development. They may include various blood tests, x-rays, MRI's or other medical tests and procedures.
Treatment for Sciatica Arthritis Pain
Because sciatica is a symptom of another medical condition, the underlying cause should be identified and treated.
In some cases, no treatment is required and recovery occurs on its own.
Conservative treatment is best in many cases. Your doctor may recommend the following steps to reduce your pain symptoms and reduce inflammation.
- Apply heat or ice to the painful area. Try ice for the first 48 - 72 hours, then use heat after that.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- While sleeping, try lying in a curled-up, fetal position with a pillow between your legs. If you usually sleep on your back, place a pillow or rolled towel under your knees to relieve pressure.
If at-home measures do not help, your doctor may recommend injections to reduce inflammation around the nerve. Other medicines may be prescribed to help reduce the sharp pain related to sciatica arthritis.
Physical therapy exercises may also be recommended. Additional treatments depend on the condition that is causing the sciatica.
Nerve pain is very difficult to treat. If you have ongoing problems with pain, you may want to see a neurologist or a pain specialist to ensure that you have access to the widest range of treatment options.
Outlook / Prognosis for Sciatica Arthritis
If the cause of the sciatic nerve dysfunction can be identified and successfully treated, full recovery is possible. The full extent of sciatic disability varies from no obvious disability to partial or complete loss of movement or sensation. Sciatica nerve pain may be severe and persist for a very long time.
Possible Complications of Sciatica Arthritis
- Partial or complete loss of leg movement
- Partial or complete loss of sensation in the leg
- Recurrent or unnoticed injury to the leg
- Side effects of medications
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your doctor right away if you have:
- Unexplained fever with back pain
- Back pain after a severe blow or fall
- Redness or swelling on the back or spine
- Pain traveling down your legs below the knee
- Weakness or numbness in buttocks, thigh, leg or pelvis
- Burning with urination or blood in your urine
- Pain that is worse when you lie down, or awakens you at night
- Severe pain and you cannot get comfortable
- Loss of control of urine or stool (incontinence)
Also call if:
- You have been losing weight unintentionally
- You use steroids or intravenous drugs
- You have had pain before but pain is now different or worse
- Episode of back pain lasting over 4 weeks
If any of these symptoms are present, your doctor will carefully check for any sign of infection (such as meningitis, abscess, or urinary tract infection), ruptured disk, spinal stenosis, hernia, cancer, kidney stone, twisted testicle, or other serious problem.
Prevention of Sciatica Arthritis
Prevention varies depending on the cause of the nerve damage. Avoid prolonged sitting or lying with pressure on the buttocks.
Alternative Names for Sciatica Arthritis
Neuropathy, sciatic nerve; sciatica, sciatic nerve pain, joint pain and swelling
Sciatica Topics & Subjects we are covering with special reports (get our health ezine for ordering details):
Report A: How your can deal with and tolerate sciatica pain * Report B: Exercises to help relieve sciatica pain * Report C: What important sciatica symptoms to watch for * Report D: Medical news for sciatica pain treatment * Report E: How acupuncture can possibly help relieve arthritis pain * Report F: Sciatica home treatment methods and cure possibilities