The sciatic nerve is the longest and biggest nerve in your body. It branches of the spine in your lower back and then branches of it continue to control your hips, buttocks, legs, knees and your toes. Damage or compression on this nerve usually results in the painful condition known as sciatica. If you are experiencing lower back pain, hip pain, numbness, weakness in your legs, you need to schedule a visit to Advanced Health and Physical Medicine. Our revolutionary Neuropathy Treatment Center is designed to ease or reverse the symptoms of sciatica.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Old injuries that have healed wrong from a slip and fall, motor vehicle accident, sitting for long periods of time, or poor posture to name a few can create weakness to the nerves, disc and muscles which over time can lead to pain. This irritation can settle in just one side of the body, or on both sides of the hips and often extends through the thigh and calf. Sudden movement or a sneeze can trigger a pain that feels like an electric shock down the nerve pathway. A jabbing pain in the sole of the foot could even be a sign of sciatica if other causes are ruled out. Other symptoms include:
- Irritation in the hip, buttock, and back of the leg.
- Worsening pain during sitting or when getting up from a chair.
- Involuntary twitching or spasms in the lower back or leg.
- Inflammation of the muscles around the sciatic nerve, especially tightness.
- Numbness that can run all the way to the bottom of the foot on the affected leg.
- Weaknesses in the leg that interrupts the gait or that makes walking uncomfortable.
- Bowel and bladder control issues in extreme cases.
What are the causes of sciatica?
Anything that irritates the sciatic nerve can lead to this condition. It is often a part of the larger condition known as neuropathy. Damage to the lumbar area or hip is especially common, along with spinal compression. Common causes are:
- Lumbar spinal stenosis: This condition causes the spinal canal to slowly tighten, causing compression on this nerve.
- Pregnancy: The swelling fetus can put a lot of pressure on nerves around the spine, including the sciatic. Many pregnant women have to deal with sore lower backs and numb or tingling feet in the last trimester.
- Bone spurs: Trauma and injury to the spine often causes a small spur of bone to grow. This can poke or pinch the nerve.
- Herniated disc: If you have developed disc issues due to any number of injuries or conditions, you may develop sciatica as part of your package of symptoms.
- Injuries: Pelvic or vertebrae misalignment can compress the nerve greatly, potentially creating complete weakness in at least one leg.
Being overweight can significantly exacerbate existing sciatica, along with inadequate exercise, overly soft mattresses and inappropriate seating.
How is sciatica diagnosed?
Typically, nerve testing, X-Rays, orthopedic and neurological physical examination are all used in conjunction to determine what underlying cause is creating the problem. An MRI often reveals the damage or disc herniation leading to pain and tingling in the leg. Testing like this is usually only ordered if pain has been occurring daily for a long period of time. Conservative treatments often resolve the issue with a week of its development if there is no serious cause. At Advanced Health and Physical Medicine, our approach is different. We have incorporated a “one-stop-shop” approach where we have many specialists under one roof. Our unique approach enables us to diagnose and treat many issues saving you time and money. Call today to talk to one of our medical team members and schedule your free consultation.
What are the treatments for sciatica?
Many patients complaining of low back and leg pain simply receive a recommendation for NSAID painkillers. Unfortunately, medical research has mostly shown that these medications have little effect for many patients who suffer from sciatica. Surgery is another option for those suffering from pain caused by sciatica. There is hope! Our unique program is designed to offer results without prescription drugs or invasive surgery. Our individual custom plans created for our patients combine office treatments with lifestyle adjustments. Our aim is to revitalize your nerves and adjust your entire system to maximize pain relief without invasive or risky procedures. Our conservative treatment plans will take into consideration any other health issues you are struggling with. This is especially important if sciatica is just one of the conditions you are experiencing.
If your low back pain and Sciatica are affecting your daily life style, contact Advanced Health and Physical Medicine to make an appointment for a free consultation to talk to one of our medical team. We can help you determine the cause of your problem. Fill out our contact form today if you are tired of dealing with any of these symptoms.