What is sciatica radiculopathy?

Sciatic nerve pain is a type of radiculopathy where the symptoms occur as a result of nerve compression along the spine. Radiculopathic pain radiates from one part of the body to another. In the case of sciatica, pain can radiate from the lower back into the buttocks, down the legs and even into the feet, causing weakness, tingling and numbness to occur. Read on to learn about the number of treatment options for sciatica pain, ranging from conservative methods to surgical procedures.

Causes of sciatica radiculopathy

Sciatica is generally caused by the natural deterioration of the elements of the spine. This often occurs as part of the aging process, which is why sciatica symptoms are frequently felt by middle-aged and older patients. Some of the most common causes of sciatica and radiculopathy, in general, include the following:

  • Degenerative disc disease, which is the gradual degeneration of the discs that normally cushion the spine and keep the vertebrae in their proper positions
  • Spinal stenosis, described as the narrowing of the spinal canal or the foramina, which are the passageways that protect the nerves as they branch out from the spinal cord
  • Osteophytes, which are bone spurs that can cause nerve compression and other forms of soft tissue irritation
  • Osteoarthritis, involving the degeneration of the facet joints that stabilize adjacent vertebrae, resulting in back stiffness, inflamed tissue and nerve compression
  • Injury that is traumatic or sports-related, which leads to a trapped sciatic nerve
  • Disease or infection that can lead to sciatica and radiculopathy

If you are experiencing sciatica symptoms or any other type of radiculopathy, see a doctor for a thorough evaluation and diagnosis.

Treatment for sciatica radiculopathy

Once the origin of your symptoms is known, your doctor can recommend treatment that is specifically tailored to your condition. Sciatica symptoms, including radiculopathy, often respond to conservative treatments, such as heat therapy, pain medication and targeted exercises. At times, however, these conservative measures fail to relieve sciatic pain. Surgery may be recommended in these extreme cases.

Minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive spine surgery used to treat the most common causes of neck and back pain. Patients with sciatica can find relief thanks to our minimally invasive procedures that are safer and effective alternatives to traditional open neck and back surgery.^ If you are interested in finding out more about the minimally invasive spine surgery procedures available at our center, please call us today.

The procedures performed at our surgery center offer you a number of benefits over traditional open back surgery, including the following:

  • Muscle-sparing techniques spread muscles without cutting or tearing
  • Patient recommendation score of 98 out of 100^
  • No lengthy recovery^
  • Use of a small incision
  • Outpatient procedure
  • Patient satisfaction score of 98^
  • Less surgical blood loss and reduced risk of infection^

Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. Our board-certified surgeons+ can perform either a minimally invasive decompression or stabilization procedure to treat your sciatica radiculopathy pain, depending on the cause and severity of your condition. We will be happy to set up a no-cost MRI review* to assess your situation and determine whether or not you are a candidate for our surgery.

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