The first thing your doctor probably will do during the first visit is asking questions about your back pain. Your doctor will ask questions like:
- Do you have numbness or weakness in your legs?
- Do certain positions help your discomfort?
- Has the pain kept you from doing any activities?
- Have any home remedies eased your pain at all?
Your doctor may also want to know about your lifestyle and may ask these questions:
- Do you do a lot of physical work, like heavy lifting?
- Do you sit on a chair or hard surface for long periods?
- How often do you exercise?
Your doctor may want to give you a physical exam to try to figure out which nerve is causing your problem. They may have you do some exercises to see if the exercise make your pain worse, such as rising from a squat, walking on your toes and heels, and raising one leg while lying on your back.
If your pain is ongoing (chronic) or severe, your doctor might also get some imaging tests done. X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs can look for herniated disks or bone spurs that clearly would be causes of sciatica.
If your doctor diagnoses you with sciatica, it is important to remember that in most cases sciatica clears up in a few weeks without surgery. If over-the-counter drugs haven’t made a dent in your pain, your doctor probably will prescribe anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants. You might also need to do physical therapy or get steroid injections to help relieve your discomfort. Acupuncture and treatment by a chiropractor are alternative treatments that also may be helpful. The conversation about surgery will start only after you’ve first tried non-surgical treatments. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sciatica/