Inflamed sciatic nerve overview

An inflamed sciatic nerve is a condition that often occurs as a result of spinal deterioration and is most commonly exhibited in older patients. When the sciatic nerve becomes irritated or pinched, regular nerve function is interfered with, which can lead to a variety of symptoms that are often referred to collectively as sciatica.

Sciatica most frequently accompanies the natural aging process, but can also be traced to traumatic injury and other spinal disorders. Treatment options vary, but in most cases, a simple course of conservative techniques sufficiently alleviate sciatic nerve pain. Read on to learn about the symptoms and treatment options for an inflamed sciatic nerve.

Symptoms of an inflamed sciatic nerve

Normally, the sciatic nerve is integral in facilitating the free flow of information between the brain and the lower half of the body. This nerve impacts numerous muscle groups and is actually the longest nerve in the body. In the event that the regular function of this nerve is interfered with, a number of symptoms can result, depending on the source and location of the compression. Some of the most common symptoms of an inflamed sciatic nerve include:

  • Electric shock sensation
  • Local and chronic lower back pain
  • Pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve or focuses at a point along the nerve
  • Unexpected muscle weakness in the thigh, knee or hamstring
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet
  • The sensation of burning or pins and needles
  • Diminished reflexes or motor function

The inflammation of the sciatic nerve in the spinal column can come from a variety of sources, such as spinal stenosis, which describes the narrowing of the spinal cavity due to arthritis. Other potential causes of an inflamed sciatic nerve include herniated discs, bulging discs, the formation of osteophytes (bone spurs) or collapsed discs that have allowed the vertebrae to shift too close together.

Treatment options for an inflamed sciatic nerve

An inflamed sciatic nerve can be very painful, but most patients respond to nonsurgical treatment. If a person has been diagnosed with an inflamed or trapped sciatic nerve, a combination of physical therapy, massage, pain medication, chiropractic visits and limited rest usually provides sufficient pain relief. In the event that your pain persists through several weeks of conservative therapies, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how one of our minimally invasive spine procedures may be able to help you get back to the activities you love.

At Laser Spine Institute, our team of dedicated surgeons is able to remove the agent that is pinching the inflamed sciatic nerve in order to free up the nerve and alleviate the debilitating symptoms associated with this condition. This procedure is performed by using a less than 1-inch incision and muscle-sparing techniques, which result in no lengthy recovery and has patients up and walking within a few hours after surgery.^

Reach out to Laser Spine Institute today and request a no-cost MRI review* to find out if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, which has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain.

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