The symptoms of sciatica

Sciatica (radiculopathy) is a neurological syndrome which occurs due to pinching and inflammation of the nerve root extending from the spinal cord throughout the vertebral column.

Symptoms of sciatica is quite extensive: from the pain of varying intensity to numbness, atrophy and weakness of muscles. They depend on the level of localization of damage to the spinal nerve root in the spine.

As causal factors of the emergence of this syndrome include:

  • disc herniation;
  • osteochondrosis;
  • transferred back injury;
  • malformations;
  • tumor;
  • inflammatory and infectious processes;
  • diseases of the blood vessels.

The main symptoms of sciatica

Regardless of the reason, it is possible to allocate the common signs of sciatica:

  1. Pain that is concentrated in one specific area. It manifests itself with a backache, it feels like electrocution.
  2. Numbness or tingling. Pinched the spinal root may not conduct nerve impulses in the allotted area, so you lose sensitivity.
  3. Muscle weakness. The stop of the flow of impulses from the spinal cord to the muscles, resulting in atrophy.

These signs are similar and may occur in all types of radiculopathy. Will it be relatively the same sensations in different parts of the body, depending on the localization of the syndrome. Distinguish cervical, thoracic, lumbar and lumbosacral radiculitis.

Additional symptoms

All kinds of sciatica can be divided into acute and chronic.

Acute radiculopathy is characterized by strong backache and sharp pain in damaged areas of the spine. If the time to start the treatment, you can get rid of the disease forever.

Chronic radiculopathy is also accompanied by a sharp piercing pain, but they occur spontaneously in the stages of exacerbation and during remission, their intensity decreases. Added to them additional symptoms: numbness in the affected area, the touch location of the pinched nerve becomes cool, there is a tingling and loss of sensation of certain muscles.

Also sciatica can be further divided on the basis of localization of the syndrome: cervical, thoracic and lumbar.

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Signs of cervical radiculitis

When cervical radiculopathy is inflammation and compression of spinal roots of the upper spine. The person feels sharp pain when moving head, careless tilts and turns. It increases with coughing and sneezing. As is usually felt on one side and may radiate to the back or arm muscles.

A skilled neurologist is able to guess the approximate location of the damage on a number of grounds. For example, when the long compression of a nerve root between 3 and 4 vertebrae can affect the ears, numbness around the ear, cheek and sinuses. Some of the additional characteristics of neck pain may include dizziness, tinnitus and migrenepodobnaya pain.

Hard to find a pose to sleep. Often at night the pain gives to the left or right hand, depending on the location of the compression. You cannot sleep on your stomach, as this head is heavily rotated side, which causes even more compression of the nerve roots, and this exacerbates the symptoms.

Chronic form is characterized by a smoothing of attacks and manifestation of pain syndrome occurs rarely. But the inflammatory process in the spine spinal nerve continues, the muscles holding the vertebrae get used to the wrong position. This, in turn, leads to the curvature of the top of the spine and exacerbate symptoms.

Therefore, it is important at the first symptoms to see a specialist.

The symptoms of thoracic radiculitis

This species is rarer than the others. Usually it is triggered by degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs (wear, hernia) or viral infections (influenza, herpes zoster, tick-borne encephalitis). Pain in the thorax are acute, can be described as backache.

Symptoms are often confused with symptoms of angina. Start taking heart medication that do not give positive effect. With the pinching of the nerve roots on the right pain suggests the development of lung diseases.This type of sciatica can manifest as intercostal neuralgia, localized in the shoulder blade, front of the sternum and hand. When the pinched nerve endings left girdle pain reaches the heart. Appears anxiety and palpitation of the heart.

Additional symptoms of thoracic radiculitis is the curvature of the spine. A person suffering from thoracic radiculopathy, is trying to take the posture to ease pain, to the side of the pinched nerve. Sometimes the subsiding of the attack required some time to hold the torso in an uncomfortable position. In the chronic form it becomes a habit and leads to a curvature of the spine.

Signs of lumbar radiculitis

This kind of radiculopathy is the most common, as the lumbar spine has the largest load, especially when walking. The syndrome is triggered by lifting weights, hypothermia, deformation of the intervertebral discs, protrusion, hernia, viral diseases, and injuries.

Depending on the location of the damage of the nerve endings, the pain appears not only in the back but also the abdomen, gluteal region, thigh, lower leg, foot and toes.

The main sign of this sciatica is an acute back pain that restricts movement in the spine.

There are three types of syndromes in lumbar radiculopathy:

  1. Lumbago or lumbalgia. Acute back pain resulting from physical exertion, exposure to cold or heat. Saved from 2-3 minutes to several days.
  2. Sciatica. Starts because of the injury to the sciatic nerve. The pain is localized in the area of the lumbosacral. There are crosses in the buttocks, muscles back of the leg, big toe, heel and rear side of the foot. It is difficult to find a pose to sleep, as any careless movement of the feet or lumbosacral region leads to strong painful syndrome.
  3. Sciatica. It is a cross between lumbago and sciatica. The pain starts in the lower back, runs through the buttock on the back and outer muscles of the leg bypassing the foot area. It has a burning and growing character.

Additional signs of lumbar sciatica include pallor of the skin and protrusion of cold sweat.

Cure acute sciatica home remedies don’t work, because only an expert can know what treatment in case it is necessary. If you do not take competent measures, acute radiculopathy turn into chronic. Limited flexibility and mobility of the affected segment of the spine.

As can be seen from the above read, the symptoms of sciatica is very extensive. To take the picture of the disease, you must consult a specialist who will prescribe a series of diagnostic studies.

Diagnostic methods
  1. The method of palpation. Helps determine the localization of the pain syndrome and to provide information about the area which requires research.
  2. X-rays in frontal and lateral projections. Often shows degenerative disc disease, which is one of the reasons of sciatica. Detects displaced vertebrae.
  3. Spondylograms (eliminates destructive processes in the spine). Sees changes of hard tissues.
  4. When sciatica is lumbar puncture. It can detect the increase in protein.
  5. MRI and CT of the spine. Allows you to see layer-by-layer changes of the soft tissues.
  6. Myelography is a radiopaque method to identify discogenic sciatica (when the disc displacement or protrusion).
  7. Clinical analysis of blood and urine. Shows the presence of a viral infection.

Using the required diagnostic methods, the doctor makes an accurate diagnosis and prescribes treatment. Subject to the recommendations of the expert can be completely cure the acute phase and to take control of the effects of chronic sciatica.

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