Sciatic pain is a common symptom experienced after a car accident or personal injury. It is often described as a sharp, shooting pain that originates in the lower back and radiates down the back of the leg. The pain is felt along the course of the sciatic nerve and can include changes in sensation and muscle weakness due to damaged nerve fibers. Car accidents and other types of personal injury can cause compression or injury to the sciatic nerve, as well as injury or inflammation of the nerve roots in the spine that supply the sciatic nerve. This can be caused by a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, or bone spurs from osteoarthritis.
A diagnosis is made based on the patient’s history, physical examination and in some cases an MRI or electrodiagnostic studies like EMG, NCV may be needed. Treatment options for sciatic pain include physical therapy, medications, nerve blocks and in some cases surgery.
The treatment includes physical therapy, application of ice and/or heat, non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants and neuropathic agents. In some cases, if the patient does not improve with conservative measures then epidural steroid injections or surgery may be considered.