Adjustable Back Brace
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Equipped with eight flexible steel springs that conform to your lower back for a firm yet comfortable support. Velcro closure allows for adjustment. One size fits most.
Since sciatica refers to a type of pain instead of a medical condition, it can have many underlying causes. The most common causes of sciatic nerve pain are a herniated spinal disc, a bone spur on the spine or spinal stenosis. These conditions can pinch nerves in the lower back area, thus causing (sometimes severe) leg pain and inflammation on the affected side of the body. In some cases, the patient can also experience numbness in the affected areas.
Despite the severity of its symptoms in some cases, sciatica can typically be treated using non invasive approaches that do not involve surgery.
However, in some cases, sciatica can cause problems with bowel or bladder control, or severe leg weakness. When these symptoms are present, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem.
The most common cause of sciatica is pinching of the sciatic nerve in the lumbar spine or lower back area. Five sets of paired nerve roots in the lumbar area combine to form the sciatic nerve. Most of the time, sciatica is caused when one of these nerve roots is compressed or irritated.
As mentioned above, this is in turn most commonly a result of:
In much rarer cases, sciatica can be a result of damage to the sciatic nerve from a tumor or from diabetes.
Sciatica has several risk factors that increase the likelihood of experiencing the condition. These include:
The main symptoms are:
The following symptoms should be regarded as possible signs of serious nerve damage:
(This) The above could be signs of cauda equina syndrome – a serious condition that demands urgent medical attention.
Individuals experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible. Other circumstances that should prompt an immediate medical consultation are if:
Sciatica is most commonly diagnosed via a physical examination of the patient that includes evaluation of his/her reflexes and muscle strength on the affected side of the body.
Some simple tests to identify possible sciatica include:
If you experience pain or symptoms get worse as a result of any or all of these activities, this is a possible indicator of sciatica.
The doctor may also review the patient’s medical history to look for back problems (such as herniated discs) that could cause sciatica.
Doctors may also request imaging studies (X ray, CT scan, MRI or EMG) to look for back problems such as herniated discs or spinal stenosis that may be the cause of the sciatica. MRI is the investigation of choice. It is usually performed in preference to CT scanning because of the high radiation dose associated with the latter. Plain X-rays are not very useful. Often, clinicians would only consider imaging if it is likely to change the management of the patient.
Sciatica is usually a self-limiting condition. A high proportion of patients improve with little or no treatment within about three to four weeks. Therefore, patients can be reassured and advised to try conservative measures in the first instance. They should be advised to remain active and to continue with their normal daily activities.
If the above home based treatments do not provide significant relief, doctors can suggest/prescribe more specialized therapies for sciatica:
Patients should be advised to seek medical attention without delay if they develop any signs of cauda equina syndrome (CES). CES requires immediate referral for neurosurgical input.
As a last option, doctors can suggest surgery if the above options do not provide relief. As a general rule of thumb, surgery should be considered if the patient fails to improve after six to eight weeks of conservative treatment. A surgeon can operate to remove the herniated disc or bone spur that may be behind the patient’s sciatica.
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