Sciatica: The Basic Concepts

sciaticasciatica is nerve pain caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the human body.

The person affected with the condition will most likely experience signs and symptoms along the posterior thighs, posterior and lateral leg, and the lateral part of the foot.

This occurs on the ipsilateral side of the affectation.

 

Mechanism of Injury

Typically, this condition is caused by intervertebral disc prolapse. The prolapse, in turn, can cause pressure on one or more parts of the sacral spinal nerves and the lower lumbar nerves. This can also cause pressure on the sciatic nerve and the sacral plexus through intrapelvic tumor. The prolapse can also bring about inflammation on the sciatic nerve and its terminal branches, causing sciatica.

Pharmacological Treatment of Sciatica

There are numerous medications that you can take if you have been diagnosed with sciatica. Most of these medications are prescribed to help you obtain pain relief. Below are listed some of the most well-known types of drug used for treatment of this condition.

Anti-inflammatories

The anti-inflammatory drugs are mainly administered during the acute phase of the condition. This can decrease the tenderness in the area. Therefore, this can help decrease pain and discomfort on the affected side. Because of the decrease in the inflammation-related fluids as a result of regular drug administration, you can experience decreased pressure on the intervertebral disc. In turn, this can lower the pressure on the sciatic nerve and, in the long run, this can help promote pain relief.

Relaxants

On the other hand, muscle relaxants are used to decrease the amount of muscle spasm in the affected area. Muscle relaxants primarily work on the central nervous system to help enforce the pain relief benefits of this drug. Furthermore, these can block the transmission of the signals of the CNS at the neuromuscular junction. These can decrease the muscle tone by targeting the functions of the skeletal muscles.

Narcotics

Narcotics are the medications of choice for moderate to severe pain. This medication can aid in stimulating the endorphin receptors. In turn, this can help block the perception for pain. Endorphins are biochemical substances that can aid in promoting the mood of a person. This has also been known to promote pain relief. Narcotics typically block the CNS from its ability to perceive pain. Therefore, this drug does not really address the cause of the pain, but merely suppresses it.

Antidepressants

The tricyclics antidepressants mainly target the neurotransmitters. As a result, this blocks the norepinephrine and the serotonin re-uptake or re-absorption. Therefore, this can help improve the mood, decreasing the pain levels on the affected area.

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