Treating Sciatica

Those experiencing pain in the lower back or hip that extends into the back of the thigh and leg may have a common condition known as sciatica.

Sciatica may feel like an intense leg cramp, with sharp, shooting pain. This crampy feeling can last for weeks, and can also cause muscles to feel weak and numb.

Those between the ages of 30 and 50 are at the greatest risk for developing this condition. It can occur simply from the wear and tear of muscles over time or any sudden pressure on the vertebrae, but most commonly develops from a herniated disk. The herniated disk puts pressure on the nerve roots that become the sciatic nerve. These nerve roots will likely become inflamed and irritated, thereby increasing pain.

It’s important to meet with your doctor to diagnose and treat sciatica. Be prepared to offer a complete medical history, including details on where and when your pain started and how it feels. Your physician will likely conduct a physical examination to pinpoint the issue, and may ask you to do various exercises, or order X-rays or an MRI.

In severe circumstances, sciatica can be treated surgically. Most often, however, the condition will heal itself after adequate time and rest. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, can help to manage the pain, though you’ll need to consult with your doctor before taking any medication. Although resting the affected area is of the utmost importance, some movement is essential to the recovery process. Movement will help to reduce inflammation, which reduces pain. Every circumstance is different, and sometimes your physician may suggest cortisone injections and/or physical therapy.

If you’re having issues with sciatica, contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician. For more information about Campbell Clinic, please visit our website.

This blog post was adapted from AAOS.

Starting Osteoporosis Prevention Early

Osteoporosis is a condition through which an individual’s bones become weak and fragile. This condition often appears as people age, but several actions may be taken to prevent this at a young age to support good bone health for a lifetime.

Children’s bones continuously gain mass and strength as they grow. Good nutrition, including a diet high in calcium and Vitamin D, can aid in the bone strengthening process as an adolescent. The Institute of Medicine recommends that children ages 9-18 years attain around 1,300 mg of calcium per day. Calcium is the main contributor in osteoporosis prevention. Because calcium isn’t made in our bodies, it must be absorbed from the foods and drinks we intake. Vitamin D significantly aids in an individual’s absorption of calcium.

So, how do you get Vitamin D? This vitamin can be found in several foods, and can be absorbed through sunlight. These, however, may not be the most practical ways to attain Vitamin D. Individuals, particularly children, should be cautious of absorbing too much sunlight, and always remember to wear sunscreen to prevent skin cancer. Sunscreen blocks some absorption of Vitamin D, so this it should not be the most relied upon source for the vitamin. Supplements may be the best option to ensure children are getting an adequate amount of Vitamin D to support bone health.

Weight-bearing exercise during an individual’s teenage years is essential for maximum bone strength. This exercise level consists of a wide range of activities, including walking and running, as well as sporting activities, such as basketball and soccer.

To maximize a child’s bone mass and prevent development of osteoporosis later in life, parents are encouraged to encourage their children to engage in a healthy, calcium-rich diet and exercise regularly.

If you’d like to make an appointment for you or your child, contact Campbell Clinic today at 901-759-3100.

This blog post was adapted from AAOS.