Sciatica nerve pain can be an untangled knot if not treated on time. It is one of the most common nerve pain, and around 40% of the population experience sciatica.
Even with this increasing ratio of its patients, sciatica is still misunderstood largely. If you experience any symptoms of sciatica, don’t delay your treatment. See a doctor before it’s too late.
There are several kinds of doctors who can easily treat your sciatica. The type of specialist for your treatment depends on the severity and cause of your sciatica. This article will summarise a complete guideline on what kind of doctor is best for your sciatica treatment. Read this article to learn about it.
What Kind of Doctor Treats Sciatica?
Usually, a family doctor can identify the root cause of your pain. But it has to be treated and examined more professionally by a specialist.
Your family doctor or physician might advise you to take additional help for further treatment. Here are the specialists that can treat your sciatica. They are:
We all know that sciatica pain can cause severe back and leg pain. However, the severity of the pain varies from person to person. To treat your back pain, doctors usually recommend a chiropractor to their patients.
They are specially trained in relieving and managing your back and spine pain. They are medical doctors but get training to treat such pain. In this way, patients with sciatica can get an effective and non-surgical option to treat sciatica.
A chiropractor usually evaluates the root cause and severity of the pain before initiating any treatment. They might order an x-ray to plan the best treatment for you. Sometimes, a series of visits is required for the treatment. However, the duration of the treatment is completely dependent on the severity of the pain.
Physical therapists are specially trained to understand the movements of the body. They know how to treat muscular or bone issues. They usually evaluate your condition. Create a plan of effective exercises and stretches to relieve sciatica.
They will also provide some home exercises and scheduled appointments to evaluate your recovery period.
Sciatica is a nerve issue. It needs a specialist opinion before initiating the treatment. For this reason, a visit to a neurologist is also vital to diagnose the cause of nerve pain. A neurologist will also offer some treatment solutions that a family physician couldn't.
A neurologist will order X-ray, MRI and EMG before suggesting any treatment that best treats your pain.
When Should You See a Doctor for Sciatica?
Almost all sciatica resolves naturally with time. However, you should not delay your treatment when you feel discomfort in your back and pain. It's important to find the root cause of your pain and get its treatment.
Waiting too long can make this chronic or lead to further complications. Here are some of the signs that indicate you should see a doctor for sciatica. They are:
● When symptoms become severe
● You are experiencing constant pain and weakness in your legs.
● Symptoms have persisted for more than a week.
● You experience any trauma or injury along with sciatica.
What Will a Doctor Do for Sciatica? (How Treatment Can Help)
A doctor will do a physical examination to check your muscle and strength reflexes. Moreover, they will prescribe some tests if you have severe pain lasting over a few weeks. These tests would be X-ray, MRI, CT scan or EMG.
To relieve your pain, there are several types of treatments that doctors will suggest to you according to your severity. They are:
In case of extreme and unbearable pain, the doctor might give you a shot of corticosteroid medications to the affected area.
After the improvement in pain, your doctor will design a program to prevent any future injuries. This program will include exercises to correct posture, improve motion and strengthen the core.
It is the last option recommended by almost all doctors. Surgeons remove the bone spur or the affected herniated disk. Surgery is only recommended when sciatica is causing severe weakness. Loss of bladder control and pain that is not improving by any medications.
What Will a Doctor Prescribe for Sciatica?
There are several medications for the treatment of sciatica. Here are some medications doctors will describe to treat your pain according to its severity and cause. They are:
OTC Medications: Pain relievers, for instance, acetaminophen, aspirin and NSAIDs, are usually prescribed by doctors for sciatica. Sciatica causes severe pain in the legs and back. These medications can give some relief from constant discomfort. Pain specialist Dr Christopher Gilligan with Brigham and Women’s Hospital said once:
"OTC pain relievers could be a viable and effective treatment in most circumstances,"
Muscle Relaxants are prescribed to ease your muscle spasm due to sciatica.
Antidepressants: They are best to treat chronic back pain.
Should You See an Orthopedic Doctor for Sciatica?
If an aggressive intervention, for instance, herniated disk or degenerative disease, is the cause of your sciatica. You need to visit an orthopedic to treat this type of sciatica.
Sometimes, nerve pressure can cause sciatica. An orthopedic doctor may determine that you need surgery to relieve this nerve pressure or suggest other solutions.
What Happens If Sciatica Is Left Untreated?
If left untreated, sciatica can lead to some severe complications. It can damage the nerves permanently and worsen your back and leg aches. Sometimes, patients stop responding to the medications and develop chronic pain that cannot be remedied.
You are likely to develop a loss of motor control and sensation, especially if you have diabetes. Some patients experience serious affect on their psychological health. Therefore, getting treatment for your sciatica as soon as you experience its symptoms is important.
Sciatica is a serious nerve issue. It causes severe pain to the patients; Seeking treatment from a doctor is important.
We hope this article will provide you with all the relevant information related to sciatica. Make sure to consult a doctor according to your symptoms and causes.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. We strongly suggest seeking the advice and care of a healthcare professional before starting any treatment.