Sciatica is the name given to a group of symptoms, including lower back pain and radiating pain, that travels down one of the legs. It often increases in intensity when the patient sits or lies down, and conversely becomes less painful when standing.
What is Sciatica?
Lower back pain and other symptoms of numbness, tingling, or weakness are a direct result of compression of the sciatic nerve, a neural branch that begins in the lower spine and travels down each leg, around the calves, and into the feet. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, and it is particularly vulnerable because conditions like herniated discs or bulging discs are so common in the lumbar (lower) region of the spine.
Symptoms of Sciatica
Sciatica is a classic example of referred lower back pain, or radiculitis. This is a condition in which the pain of an affected area actually manifests itself in a different part of the body. Ways that sciatica may present include:
- Tingling in the thighs or the backs of the legs
- Muscle spasms or cramping in the calves
- Loss of feeling in the feet or toes
- Pain that radiates from the upper back down through the buttocks
Treatment of Sciatica
If a course of conservative treatment prescribed by your physician proves ineffective for your chronic low back pain, Laser Spine Institute (LSI) may be able to help relieve you of lower back pain symptoms, including the pain that accompanies sciatica. For more information about our minimally invasive, endoscopic procedures, contact LSI today.