Patients suffering from persistent sciatica must receive careful and correct diagnosis of the cause of malady for effective treatment. There are a wide variety of causes and treatments of sciatica. Treatment must be tailored to the individual for successful and timely treatment.
Each sciatic nerve is a long and important nerve which begins in the lower back, traverses a groove in the buttocks, extends down the back of the leg, makes its way to the ankles and terminates feet. The name of the sciatic’s branches change over its course. Commonly, the sciatic nerve is pinched or compressed in the lower back as it exits the vertebral foramina. This causes nerve injury and neuropathic pain, tingling, weakness, and numbness to travel along the entire nerve. Usually one of the two sciatic nerves are affected at any given time, however central spinal stenosis may affect both simultaneously. .
Left untreated, sciatic pain is miserable and can profoundly affect an individual’s quality of life. However, most nerve compression, including the compression of the sciatic nerve, can more often than not be treated with a course of conservative treatments, including physical therapy, pain medication, and heat therapy. Only sciatica, which persists or worsens after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, should be surgically decompressed.
Possible causes of sciatica
Causes of sciatica include:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Traumatic injury
- Disease or infection
- Bone spurs (osteophytes)
- Poor posture
- External forces pushing on the buttocks and thus the sciatic nerve by a poorly fitting seat for example
In order to diagnose the source of your sciatica, your physician must review your medical history, complete a physical, and frequently a recent CT scan or MRI. Once the cause of discomfort has been determined, your physician will formulate a treatment plan. . It is important to remember that surgery should always be reserved as the last option after all conservative treatments are exhausted. Patients should never feel pressured to consent to a procedure about which they are uncomfortable.
Laser Spine Institute
In the event that conservative, nonsurgical treatment does not provide the relief desired, contact Laser Spine Institute’s team to learn about our innovative, minimally invasive endoscopic spine procedures. Unlike open spine surgery, our procedures are conducted on an outpatient basis and require minimal rehabilitation. Call today to request more information about sciatica and how we can help you rediscover a more comfortable and healthy quality of life.