What is sciatica and how do you relieve this condition?

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve (the body’s largest nerve) becomes compressed in the lower back. This commonly occurs as the result of a degenerative spine condition, such as degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis. These conditions develop when parts of the spine begin to deteriorate due to the wear from supporting the body’s weight and lending the neck and back their flexibility. Degenerative spine conditions can lead to sciatica when an inflamed or misaligned disc applies pressure to the sciatic nerve. Read on to learn about sciatica symptoms and available treatments for relief.

Sciatica symptoms

Sciatica symptoms typically only affect one side of the body and include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle weakness

These symptoms can be felt in the lower back, hips, buttocks and down the back of the legs.

Sciatica treatments

Most patients are able to relieve their sciatica symptoms with conservative treatments, such as pain medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), hot and cold compresses, steroid injections and physical therapy. Some patients choose to take a more holistic approach to their sciatica treatment through alternative therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, Pilates, deep tissue massage and chiropractic manipulation.

In the event that several weeks or months of conservative treatment and/or alternative therapy fail to relieve a patient’s sciatica symptoms, a physician might recommend surgery. Before consenting to traditional open spine surgery, which requires a difficult rehabilitation, patients might want to consider the minimally invasive procedures performed by the board-certified surgeons+ at Laser Spine Institute. Contact us to learn more about our safer and effective alternatives to open neck and back surgery.^

Our commitment to minimally invasive procedures has made us the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, allowing us to help more than 75,000 patients rediscover their lives from chronic neck and back conditions like sciatica. Our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and have earned us a patient satisfaction score of 98.^ To find out if you are a potential candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery, reach out to us today and ask for a free MRI review.*

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