Sciatica is a common spine condition that causes severe pain or tingling sensations in the back or legs. The pain, numbness, and tingling caused, radiate along the sciatic nerve, This condition negatively impacts one’s efficiency while doing normal activities in daily life. In this comprehensive article, Dr. Nagesh Chandra, one of the top neurosurgeon in Dwarka, Delhi explains symptoms and treatment options for sciatica in India.

The sciatic nerve is the thickest and longest nerve in the human body, that comes from the lower back and extends down the side of each leg and buttock. It consists of multiple nerve roots flowing from the lumbar and sacral spine.

What are the causes of Sciatica?

Sciatica is mainly caused when the sciatic nerve is pinched. The following are the causes of sciatica:

  • Herniated Discs: One of the main causes of sciatica is a herniated disc. When the soft inner material of a disc protrudes and compresses the adjacent nerve roots, it results in sciatic nerve pinching and pain.
  • Spinal Stenosis: Narrowing of the spinal canal, a condition known as spinal stenosis, can also lead to sciatica. This narrowing put pressure on the nerves, causing pain and discomfort.
  • Piriformis Syndrome: The sciatic nerve can be irritated by the piriformis muscle, a condition referred to as piriformis syndrome. This occurs when the muscle spasms or tightens, compressing the sciatic nerve.
  • Degenerative Spine Disease: As the discs in the spine age, they lose their cushioning ability. This degeneration causes sciatica, especially in older individuals after 50 years of age.

What are the Symptoms of Sciatica

Sciatica causes following symptoms:

  1. Pain: The primary symptom of sciatica is pain radiating from the lower back down the leg. The pain ca be a mild ache or even a sharp, burning sensation.
  2. Numbness and Tingling: Individuals with sciatica experience numbness and tingling along the path of the sciatic nerve. This can go from the lower back to the toes.
  3. Weakness: Sciatica causes weakness in the affected leg, sometimes it makes difficult to to stand, walk, or perform daily activities.

How a spine specialist diagnose Sciatica?

A qualified spine doctor would undergo following tests to confirm sciatica including:

  • Physical Examination: A physical examination to assess reflexes, muscle strength, and sensory function.
  • Lab tests: X-rays, MRI, and CT scans to get the detailed images of the spine, helping identify the root cause of sciatica.
  • Electromyography Test for sciatica (EMG): This test measures the electrical activity in muscles, to diagnose nerve damage.

When to see a spine doctor?

Experiencing sciatica is very painful at times and hence knowing when to consult doctor can save you from severe spine conditions. Here are the following conditions when you should immediately visit a spine specialist:

  • Persistent Pain: If you’re experiencing persistent and severe pain that doesn’t improve with pain relievers, consult the doctor now.
  • Symptoms Worsening: If your symptoms are getting worse, including increased pain, numbness, or weakness.
  • Numbness or Weakness: The numbness or weakness in the leg or foot, particularly if it is affecting your ability to walk or perform daily activities, is a concerning symptom that needs immediate medical diagnosis.
  • Bowel or Bladder Dysfunction: Difficulty controlling bowel or bladder function, such as incontinence or retention, may indicate a more severe nerve compression and requires immediate medical attention.
  • Injury: If your sciatica is the result of a recent injury or trauma, it’s essential to see a doctor
  • Fever or Infection Signs: If you experience symptoms such as fever, chills, or signs of infection (redness, warmth, swelling) around the lower back or buttocks,
  • No Improvement with traditional treatment: When you’ve tried home remedies, rest, and medicines for a reasonable period without relief, it’s time to consult specialist.

What is the Treatment for Sciatica available in India?

Dr. Nagesh explains the available treatment options for sciatica adopted by spine doctor in Dwarka, Delhi including:

Traditional Sciatica Treatment without surgery options:

Physical therapy can be used for relieving sciatica symptoms. Experts design specific exercises plans to strengthen the muscles surrounding the sciatic nerve, it can be a long-term treatment but can help in long run too.

Applying heat or cold packs also offer relief.

Medicines for sciatica treatment

  1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
  2. Muscle relaxants: Prescribed to alleviate muscle spasms.
  3. Oral corticosteroids: In some cases, steroids are also prescribed to reduce inflammation around the affected nerve. But it should only be taken if prescribed as these can have side-effects.
  4. Epidural Steroid Injections: In severe cases, a neurosurgeon administer corticosteroids directly into the epidural space around the affected nerve root, providing targeted relief.

Sciatica Surgery in Delhi

Neurosurgeons can suggest following types of surgeries if the above treatments don’t give positive results:

  • A microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive surgery for removing a small portion of the herniated disc that is pressing on the sciatic nerve. This surgery relieve pressure on the nerve and reduce associated symptoms.
  • Laminectomy involves the removal of the lamina (a portion of the vertebra) to create more space around the nerve roots. This spine surgery is recommended for cases of spinal stenosis that are causing sciatica.
  • Lumbar decompression surgery is a term that encompasses surgeries aimed at relieving pressure on the spinal nerves. This includes laminectomy, foraminotomy, or other techniques depending on the underlying cause of sciatica.
  • Spinal fusion is recommended in cases where instability of the spine is leading to the sciatica. In this surgery, fusing two or more vertebrae together is done to provide stability and reduce nerve irritation.

Why choose Dr. Nagesh Chandra, for sciatica treatment in Delhi?

When it comes to addressing complex neurological issues such as sciatica, seek the expertise of a skilled neurosurgeon. Dr. Nagesh Chandra, a renowned neurosurgeon in Delhi who is offering treatment at his clinic called Center for Brain and Spine. He has performed more than 800 neuro surgeries and is experienced in treating sciatica and other neurosurgical conditions from last 25 years.

Dr. Chandra’s expertise and experience as a neuro specialist helps patients to get personalized treatment and recovery quickly.

If you or a loved one is grappling with the challenges of sciatica, consider consulting with Dr. Nagesh Chandra for assessment and treatment.

Leave a Reply