Sciatica

Friday, November 22, 2013

The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body. Pain associated with this nerve is called sciatica. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Sciatica refers to pain or discomfort associated with the sciatic nerve. This nerve runs from the lower part of the spinal cord, down the back of the leg, to the foot. Injury to or pressure on the sciatic nerve can cause a sharp or burning pain that radiates from the lower back or hip.

Sciatica is a fairly common disorder. Approximately 40 percent of people in this country experience this condition at some point in their lives. In many cases, the specific cause is never identified. About half of affected individuals recover from sciatica within a month. Some cases can linger a few weeks longer and may require aggressive treatment. In some cases, the pain may return or become chronic. Severe sciatica can make walking difficult if not impossible.

Most cases of sciatica are treatable with pain medication and physical therapy. After four to six weeks of treatment, an individual should be able to resume normal activities. In more severe cases, surgery may be needed.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.