Sciatic nerve pain, caused by compression of the sciatic nerve along the spine, is a type of radiculopathy. Radiculopathic pain is pain that 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. Weakness, tingling and numbness may also occur.
Thankfully, there are a 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 — The gradual degeneration of the discs that normally cushion the spine and keep the vertebrae in their proper positions
- Spinal stenosis — 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 — The formation of bone spurs can cause nerve compression and other forms of soft tissue irritation
- Osteoarthritis — The degeneration of the facet joints that stabilize adjacent vertebrae, resulting in back stiffness, inflamed tissue and nerve compression
- Injury — Traumatic or sports-related injuries can lead to a trapped sciatic nerve
- Disease or infection — The presence of disease or infection can lead to sciatica and other radiculopathy
If you are experiencing sciatica symptoms or any other type of radiculopathy, see a physician for a thorough evaluation and diagnosis.
Treatment for sciatica radiculopathy
Once the origin of your symptoms is known, your physician can recommend treatment that is specifically tailored to your condition. Sciatica symptoms, including radiculopathy, often respond to conservative, nonsurgical 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, outpatient 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 — safer and effective alternatives to traditional open neck and back surgery. The procedures performed at our surgery center offer you a number of benefits, including the following:
- Muscle-sparing techniques spread muscles without cutting or tearing
- No lengthy recovery^
- Use of a small incision
- Outpatient procedure
- A 96 patient satisfaction rate
Our surgeons can perform either a minimally invasive decompression or stabilization procedure to treat your sciatica pain, depending on the cause and severity of your condition.
Learn more about sciatica treatment
If you are interested in finding out more about the minimally invasive spine surgery procedures available at our center, please call us today. We will be happy to set up an MRI review to assess your situation and determine whether or not you are a candidate for our surgery.