ABC Medical Center > Sciatica

What is Sciatica?

21:53 - 4 May , 2021


The sciatic nerve is the most extensive nerve in the body, which runs from the lower back to the toes, so sciatica is when there is pain, inflammation, and numbness that goes from the lower back to the buttock and the leg, up to the foot, normally affecting only one side of the body.

This condition appears when there is compression of the sciatic nerve caused by a herniated disc, a vertebral bone spur, spinal stenosis, tumor, piriformis syndrome, pelvic fracture, or as a consequence of nerve involvement caused by diseases such as diabetes.

Signs and symptoms Sciatica

  • Moderate to severe pain that radiates from the lower back to the buttocks and the back of the leg.
  • Hypersensitivity.
  • Intense pain.
  • Leg numbness.
  • Tingling.
  • Muscle weakness.

Potential risks:

  • The older you are, the higher the risk of suffering from it.
  • Overweight and obesity.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Sitting for long periods on a daily basis.
  • Being diabetic.

Possible complications of sciatica, although rare, include:

  • Numbness in the affected leg.
  • Lack of strength in the affected leg.
  • Damage to the intestinal and bladder physiology.

Diagnosis and treatment Sciatica

Once your orthopedist analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform an exhaustive physical examination in which they will measure your capacity for movement, strength, and reflexes, observing the level of pain caused by the various positions and activities performed.

Subsequently, it will be necessary to determine the cause of sciatica through imaging studies such as X-rays, MRI, and computed tomography, in addition to electromyography to evaluate the electrical nerve signals and their corresponding muscle reaction.

The treatment to be followed will be established based on the severity of the symptoms and the cause of sciatica, but it can generally include anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and anxiolytics.

Your orthopedist may also recommend physical therapy sessions for rehabilitation and an exercise program that will help strengthen your muscles and give you better posture and flexibility.

On certain occasions, you may have regular corticosteroid injections directly into the sciatic nerve. If no treatment works, the only alternative is surgery, which can be the removal of the herniated disc or the bone spur that compresses the nerve.

At the Orthopedics and Traumatology Center, we seek to improve the lives of patients restricted or immobilized by musculoskeletal disorders or injuries.

We specialize in the care of the locomotor system by integrating the latest medical, biological, and technological advances, in strict adherence to the highest international standards of patient care.


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  • López AL, Romero AJL,Espinosa MKAF. Lesión de nervio ciático, una forma de tratamiento. Ortho-tips. 2017;13(4):199-202.
  • Altamirano-Cruz MA, Cervantes-Orozco IE, Meza-Reyes GE. Lesión de nervio ciático asociado a artroplastia total de cadera con abordaje lateral directo. Rev Med MD. 2014;5.6(3):129-133.

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