Any pain traveling in the sciatic nerve is referred to as sciatica.
Good news! We are the Sciatica Experts. If you think you have Sciatica, let’s talk.
How is Sciatica Treated?
Sciatica treatment depends on you – your specific physiology and how advanced your case is. The North American Spine medical team and your physician will thoroughly evaluate your situation and recommend a treatment plan to provide both maximum relief and minimum recovery time. Treatment plants are grouped into three categories:
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Symptoms of Sciatica
Since the sciatic nerve travels over a long distance of the body, the symptoms of sciatica can radiate down the entire lower body.
Common symptoms of Sciatica include:
- Lower back pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and weakness that is either stationary or radiating
- Pain in the rear, leg, or hip that is worse upon sitting
- Difficulty moving the leg or foot
- Constant pain on one side of the buttocks
- A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up
Prior to having a surgical procedure to treat your sciatica, conservative measures such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and steroid injections should be attempted. If these measures do not meaningfully relieve your pain, a North American Spine procedure may be in order.
Causes of Sciatica
Sciatica is caused by irritation of the root(s) in the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine. In many cases, that irritation is secondary to another, more primary cause:
Additional common Sciatica causes include:
- Spinal stenosis: narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back
- Degenerative Disc Disease: the breakdown of discs, or age-related wear-and-tear that leads to the breakdown of discs
- Spondylolisthesis: a condition which one vertebra overlaps another
- Back or neck strain due to repetitive physical activity, poor posture, imbalances in the musculature, or heavy lifting
- Direct physical injury such as a car accident or fall
- Genetics, whether or not the symptoms appeared in your parents
Sciatica treatments depend on the severity of the condition. In many cases, conservative treatments such as ice packs and anti-inflammatory medication may dull the pain. More advanced cases may require physician therapy or chiropractic treatment. For chronic cases that have not responded to conservative measures, discover how we can help.
Treatments and Procedures for Sciatica
Treatment and procedure options for Sciatica range from conservative options like injections to more intensive procedures like spinal fusions.
Conservative treatment options include nerve root blocks and steroid injections. These are designed to provide temporary relief (up to one year), and you may elect to have the procedure done multiple times. Other conservative strategies may include the placement of a spinal cord stimulator–or STIM–which is designed not to correct the underlying degeneration, but to lessen the pain the condition causes.
Decompression–including North American Spine’s unique IntelliSpine™ procedure–may be used for cases in which the structural integrity of the vertebrae or spinal cord is not threatened. These procedures concentrate on freeing entrapped nerves, typically be enlarging the space through which nerves pass. Depending on the demands of the procedure and your unique physiology, a special surgical laser may be used.
Fusion, also called stabilization, procedures may be used when the stability of the spine or vertebrae are compromised or threatened. In some of these cases, more than one harmful condition may exist. While these procedures are minimally invasive and enjoy a high success rate, some patients may be required to stay overnight for observation.