TYPES OF PAIN

Sciatica

OVERVIEW

Sciatica generally alludes to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg.  Sciatica most often occurs when a herniated disc, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve causing inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg.

Although the pain associated with sciatica can be severe, most cases resolve with non-operative treatments in a few weeks. People who have severe sciatica that’s associated with significant leg weakness or bowel or bladder changes might be candidates for surgery.

For most cases, Sciatica only affects one side of the lower body and the pain often radiates from the lower back all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the leg.  Some combination of the following symptoms is most common:

  • Lower back pain, if experienced at all, is not as severe as leg pain.
  • Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg, but rarely both the right and left sides.
  • Pain that originates in the low back or buttock and continues along the path of the sciatic nerve – down the back of the thigh and into the lower leg and foot.
  • Pain that feels better when patients lie down or are walking, but worsens when standing or sitting.
  • Pain that is typically described as sharp or searing, rather than dull
  • Some experience a “pins-and-needles” sensation, numbness or weakness, or a prickling sensation down the leg.

SCIATICA

Low back pain can range from mild, dull, annoying pain, to persistent, severe, disabling pain in the lower back. Pain in the lower back can restrict mobility and interfere with normal functioning and quality of life.

WE CAN HELP!

Treatment for sciatic pain ranges from hot and cold packs, medications, exercises, over the counter pain relievers and alternative remedies.  In some cases, a steroid medication is injected into the space around the spinal nerve. Research suggests these injections have a modest effect when irritation is caused by pressure from a herniated, or ruptured disc.

If pain from sciatica persists for at least six weeks despite treatment, minimal invasive procedures may be an option. The goal for these surgeries, is to remedy the cause of the sciatica. For example, if a herniated disc is putting pressure on the nerve, then surgery to correct the problem may relieve sciatica pain.  Our spinal experts will diagnose the severity of your ailment, and put together the right treatment plan to get you back to living your life pain free!

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