The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back, down to the back of both legs. Pressure, damage, or irritation to the sciatic nerve can cause pain to radiate throughout your lower body. This mild to severe nerve pain is known as Sciatica. If you think you’re suffering from pain caused by sciatica, get a head start on finding pain relief by starting your diagnosis below.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE SCIATICA?
Millions of men and women are affected by painful and troublesome sciatic nerve pain. It can be difficult to live with and negatively impacts the quality of life of those who are suffering from this condition. Sciatica is not a condition. It is a collection of symptoms related to a spine condition. Understanding the symptoms and causes of sciatica can help you get to the root condition that is causing your pain.
What Causes Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve, your body’s longest nerve running from the spinal cord down through each leg, has a direct impact on the control and feeling in your legs. When the sciatic nerve is irritated, aggravated, or otherwise exasperated, you can experience the pain of sciatica. Common conditions that can result in sciatica pain are:
Additionally, risk factors for sciatica include obesity, a lack of exercise, prolonged sitting, smoking, and diabetes.
What are the Symptoms of Sciatica?
Sciatica pain is a symptom in and of itself. The symptom of sciatica pain results from an underlying condition. Sciatica pain can manifest in the lower back, hips, buttocks, legs or feet. It can affect one or both sides of the body and makes general mobility difficult.
Sciatica pain can range from sharp and radiating to mildly aching and uncomfortable. It can be consistent or intermittent. Some may feel numbness, tingling sensations, or weakness in the lower extremities.
Are you experiencing a single-sided pain radiating down a lower extremity that indicates sciatic nerve pain? Oasis Orthopedic and Spine can help. Find your condition below with our online condition tool.
HOW IS SCIATICA TREATED?
If you are experiencing the sharp, throbbing pain of sciatica, the faster you seek professional help to determine the cause, the better your overall recovery will be.
Non-Surgical Treatments for Sciatica
The first task for you and your spine specialist to do is to find the root cause of your sciatica pain. This should be the top priority in finding the best treatment for you. A full evaluation is recommended to determine the best treatment options for the patient. Sciatica is treated differently depending on the cause. In some situations, sciatic nerve pain can be alleviated with conservative treatment such as:
- Physical therapy
- Spinal injection
- Heat and ice therapy
Surgical Treatments for Sciatica
When non-surgical measures do not provide adequate relief, minimally invasive surgery may be the best option. Again, the underlying issue causing your sciatica will determine the surgery that is the best fit for you. The most common surgical treatments for sciatica include:
- Endoscopic Laminectomy
- Endoscopic Foraminotomy
- Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
- Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (XLIF)
- Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)
If you think surgical treatment might be the answer to your sciatica pain, we can help. Find out what treatment is right for you with our treatment finder tool below.
WHAT OUR PATIENTS ARE SAYING
[Since my bulging disc correction] I haven't had pain in my leg at all and had only a little pain in my back from my surgery, but zero pain in my legs, the sciatica is gone.
Edward, age 55, bulging disc injury
Today my back and hip feel tremendous. My legs are still a bit weak, possibly from nerve damage that occurred prior to surgery. I’m going to physical therapy 3 times per week. I was back at work on November 15th, 3 weeks after surgery.
Robert, age 58,
history of disc herniation and previous surgeries
Nobody likes to be injured and neck surgery is a delicate procedure, but Dr. Massoud explained what needed to be done, which made me feel more comfortable. [Post-surgery] I felt great, and today the pain is completely gone.
Francisco, Age 48, Cervical Injury