Sciatica, or lumbar radiculopathy, is a type of radiating pain that follows the path of your sciatic nerve. The pain occurs when the nerve is compressed or irritated.
Your sciatic nerve is one of the thickest nerves in your body. It contains multiple nerve roots that exit from your lumbar and sacral spine and combine in your buttocks. The nerve then travels down into your leg on both sides of your body.
Your sciatic nerve controls your legs’ muscle movement and delivers sensory information from your lower extremities to your spine and brain.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Lower back pain that radiates into your leg on one side of your body is the tell-tale symptom of sciatica. The severity of the pain varies, ranging from a mild ache to a sharp electric shock-like sensation.
You may also experience burning, tingling, or numbing sensations.
Though you may be able to manage your mild sciatica symptoms with at-home care, if your pain is severe or fails to improve within a few days, the team at Pacific Sports & Spine can help.
What causes sciatica?
You may develop sciatica for several reasons. However, the pain condition most often develops from a herniated or bulging disc that irritates or compresses one of the sciatic nerve roots as it exits the lumbar spine.
Bone spurs from degenerative disc disease may also cause nerve irritation that results in pain.
Your risk of developing sciatica increases as you get older because of the degenerative changes that occur in your spine with age. Heavy lifting, prolonged sitting, obesity, and diabetes are also risk factors for sciatica.
How is sciatica treated?
Pacific Sports & Spine is a state-of-the-art interventional pain management practice. Treatment for your sciatica may depend on the severity of your symptoms, the underlying cause of your pain, and your overall health.
Initially, the team may recommend conservative treatments for your sciatica, such as anti-inflammatory medication, anti-seizure medication (alleviate nerve pain), muscle relaxants, or pain medication.
The team may suggest surgery if conservative methods fail to alleviate your sciatica. Surgical treatment for sciatica may include microdiscectomy or laminectomy. However, they rarely need to perform surgery for their sciatica patients.
For a comprehensive approach to your sciatica, call Pacific Sports & Spine at (541) 780-6654 to schedule a patient appointment.