Sciatica is a group of symptoms that occur when your sciatic nerve is pinched. The sciatic nerves leave the lower spine and travel through your left and right buttocks and legs, going all the way down to your feet.
Sometimes the nerve is pinched due to an injury. In most cases, however, sciatica is caused by spine conditions such as:
The nerve can also be pinched by muscles in your buttocks if they spasm or tighten. But this condition, called piriformis syndrome, isn’t common.
Sciatica’s hallmark symptom is pain that starts in your lower back and shoots down one leg. Though the severity of this radiating pain varies, most people describe it as a severe, electric-shock pain that’s debilitating while it lasts.
You can have acute or chronic sciatica. The acute condition causes sudden pain that typically heals in several weeks. Chronic sciatica lasts longer than three months and often feels worse when you sit for a long time or engage in activities that require bending or twisting.
In both types of sciatica, you may also experience tingling or numbness that radiates down the leg. In severe cases, you can develop muscle weakness that makes it hard to bend your knee or move your foot.
You may get the pain relief you need with anti-inflammatory medications, a stretching program, and physical therapy, which are all available at DYNAMIC Pain and Wellness.
If your pain doesn’t improve, your provider may recommend treatments such as:
Injecting steroids into the epidural space along the spinal cord significantly improves your pain by reducing nerve inflammation.
Your provider uses radiofrequency energy to create a wound on the specific nerve sending pain signals to your brain. As a result, your brain doesn’t get the message, so your pain diminishes.
This treatment uses mild electrical stimulation to block the pain signals traveling through spinal nerves.
If the source of your sciatica is a damaged spinal disc, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections and stem cell therapy may help the disc heal naturally.
As soon as you experience the shooting pain of sciatica, call DYNAMIC Pain and Wellness or book an appointment online.