Radiculitis is one of the most common diseases of the nervous system. With sciatica, inflammation of the spinal nerves occurs – the nerve roots extending from the spinal cord.
Radiculitis is often a direct consequence of progressive osteochondrosis of the spine
. As a result of wear of the cartilage of the interarticular surfaces of the spine, there is a narrowing of the intervertebral spaces through which the spinal nerves pass. As a result of degenerative changes, osteophytes – sharp spikes – grow along the edges of the vertebrae.
With an awkward movement, the nerve root can be infringed between the edges of the vertebrae or injured by an osteophyte, which leads to the development of inflammation and the appearance of symptoms of sciatica.
Predisposing factors for the development of sciatica: excessive physical activity, movements with excessive amplitude, hypothermia, mechanical injury.
Symptoms of sciatica
Depending on the localization of the lesion, the clinical picture of sciatica will differ. The most vulnerable place for sciatica is the lumbar spine. It is here that osteochondrosis most often develops.
With lumbar sciatica, intense pain is characteristic, in the region of the spine, spreading to the gluteal region, along the back of the thigh, lower leg to the heel. The pains can have different colors: they can be burning, stabbing, shooting, aggravated by movement, can lead to lameness.
With sciatica, in addition to pain, various sensory disturbances in the limb (paresthesia) are characteristic: a feeling of crawling, coldness, numbness, or complete loss of sensitivity.
With lesions of the cervicothoracic spine, similar symptoms are observed in the upper limbs, neck, and occipital region of the head. Pain is aggravated by turning the head, tilting to the side, sneezing and coughing.
In the case of an isolated lesion of the thoracic spine, pain may occur in the chest, along the ribs.
With sciatica, there is more often a unilateral process: pain and paresthesia occur on the side of the lesion, while the second limb remains healthy.
Read more: Treatment of sciatica
Treatment of sciatica
Radiculitis is treated by a general practitioner or neurologist. In the period of acute pain, bed rest is indicated in order to reduce the axial load on the spine.
To relieve spasm of the back muscles, which put additional pressure on the vertebrae muscle relaxants are prescribed – drugs that relax arbitrary muscles.
Widely applied anti-inflammatory and painkillers: removing swelling, inflammation and pain, they quickly normalize the condition and return to working capacity.
Great importance in the relief of an attack of sciatica is given vitamins. Everyone is well aware of the therapeutic effect of such drugs as Milgamma, Kombilipen, Neuromultivit and others.
Locally indicated for sciatica application of warming ointmentscontaining non-steroidal anti-inflammatory components. Their choice is quite wide in pharmacies. When applying the ointment, one should not exert strong pressure on the spine, the movements should be soft, stroking. Shown also dry heat: wrapping the lower back with a down scarf, the use of heating pads, physiotherapy.