What does a sciatica diagnosis mean for you?

Receiving a sciatica diagnosis means that your chronic back or lower body pain is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, which is often caused by a degenerative condition affecting the lumbar (lower) region of the spine. While this diagnosis can be a source of anxiety, the good news is that the underlying causes of sciatica are treatable. By learning more about this condition and the full range of treatment options, you can give yourself a better chance of getting back to the people and activities you’ve been missing.

Sciatic nerve compression

Sciatica is a term used to describe symptoms that occur as a result of compression of the sciatic nerve. Over the years, parts of the spine naturally begin to deteriorate as a result of normal wear and tear. This deterioration is particularly common in the lumbar spine because these vertebrae support much of the body’s weight while still being flexible enough to bend and twist.

Some examples of the conditions that can compress the sciatic nerve and lead to a sciatica diagnosis include:

  • Bulging discs
  • Herniated discs
  • Bone spurs
  • Facet disease or other types of spinal arthritis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Traumatic injury

Treating sciatica

After confirming diagnosis of sciatica through a physical evaluation and diagnostic imagery, most doctors will suggest basic conservative treatments in an attempt to relieve any pain, help improve range of motion and restore spine health. Typically recommended options include periods of rest, over-the-counter medication, ice packs, heating pads, moderate exercise and lifestyle changes like improving diet and posture.

Your doctor may refer you to see a surgeon for a consultation regarding a decompression procedure to take pressure off of the sciatic nerve if weeks or months of conservative treatment have not relieved symptoms.

Laser Spine Institute

If you have received a sciatica diagnosis and are considering decompression surgery to relieve your lower back pain or other symptoms, contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about minimally invasive spine surgery. Our procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine procedures^ and are performed on an outpatient basis with muscle-sparing techniques.

We are happy to offer a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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