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Sciatica, a prevalent condition, is characterized by nerve pain radiating from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down the legs
. This discomfort is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in our bodies .
Causes of Sciatica:
Sciatica can result from various conditions, including herniated disks, degenerative disk disease, spinal stenosis, and injuries . Moreover, normal wear-and-tear on the spine or past injuries can increase the risk of developing this condition . Other risk factors include age, height, smoking habits, and exposure to specific occupational factors .
Diagnosis of Sciatica:
The diagnosis of sciatica relies heavily on the patient’s history and a thorough physical examination . The straight leg raising test is a common diagnostic tool used . Imaging studies are only recommended in certain cases . While the diagnostic value of history and physical examination has not been extensively studied, a combination of typical symptoms and positive neurological tests can bolster the diagnosis .
Treatment for Sciatica:
After diagnosis, conservative treatment is often the first line of action for managing sciatica . This approach involves self-care measures that can provide relief . If symptoms persist beyond 6-8 weeks, surgical intervention may be considered . Though surgery can provide quicker relief, no clear long-term differences have been noted when compared with conservative management .
It’s important to note that the diagnosis and management of sciatica can vary widely across countries, likely due to the lack of clear clinical guidelines and substantial evidence . Hence, it’s crucial for patients to consult with healthcare providers for a personalized treatment plan.
In summary, sciatica is a common condition that can cause significant discomfort, but with prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment, it can be effectively managed.
 Sciatica: What It Is, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Pain …
 Sciatica – Symptoms and causes
 Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica – PMC