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What is Sciatica?

Any pain traveling in the sciatic nerve is referred to as sciatica.

Sciatica is caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve. Running all the way from the lower back to the feet on both sides of the body, it is the longest nerve in the human body and instrumental in connecting the foot to the central nervous system. The medical term for sciatica is “lumbar radiculopathy,” and the pain associated with sciatica is sometimes called radicular pain. Sciatica treatments focus on decompressing the nerve causing the pain.

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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.

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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.

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Request a Free Sciatica Info Kit


Chris G.

Condition: Sciatica

Procedure: IntelliSpineSM (Lumbar)

“I walked out of surgery feeling better than when I went in.”

“I would wake in the morning, take 5-6 Advil to get going. I would take 5-6 Advil every few hours throughout the day to help with pain… I have not had any back or leg pain since surgery. I have lost 15 lbs just by being able to walk around more… I sit on the floor and play all kinds of games… Me and my three boys have been fishing twice. My wife and I have enjoyed more intimacy in the last few weeks than we did the last few years. Thanks for giving my life back.”

Connect With A Patient

Some of our former patients have been kind enough to offer to speak with back and neck pain sufferers who are looking into treatment options. We encourage you to take them up on it! After we determine a treatment plan, we’ll connect you with a past patient who had a similar condition and procedure.

Connect with a Patient

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