Leg pain and lower back pain may be symptoms of sciatica

Sciatica is a term used to describe symptoms of pain, numbness and/or tingling in the lower back and extremities, often caused by the compression of the large sciatic nerve in the lumbar spine.

A compressed sciatic nerve is often a result of a degenerative spine condition in the lumbar spine (lower back). This nerve compression can result in chronic lower back pain, sometimes even preventing daily activities and hobbies. Because the sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the spine and extends the nerve pathways into the lower back and legs, compression of this nerve can cause symptoms to be felt as far away from the spine as the toes.

It is important to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of sciatica so you can be prepared to discuss your pain with your physician. Once your physician diagnoses the cause of your compressed sciatic nerve, you can begin collaborating to find an effective treatment option for pain relief.

Symptoms of sciatica

Sciatica is a classic example of referred lower back pain, or radiculitis. This is a condition in which the pain of an affected area actually manifests itself in a different part of the body. Sciatica symptoms may include:

  • Tingling in the thighs or the backs of the legs
  • Muscle spasms or cramping in the calves
  • Loss of feeling in the feet or toes
  • Pain that radiates from the upper back down through the buttocks

This pain can sometimes seem separate from the spine altogether. For example, a patient with sciatica pain may experience tingling in the feet or legs without pain in the lower back. For this reason, sciatica is sometimes difficult to diagnose.
Treatment of sciatica

If a regimen of conservative treatments prescribed by your physician proves ineffective for your chronic low back pain, Laser Spine Institute may be able to help relieve your lower back pain symptoms, including the pain that accompanies sciatica.

We offer minimally invasive spine surgery that alleviates pressure on compression nerve roots, thereby relieving patients of chronic neck or back pain. Because we use a minimally invasive approach to the spine that avoids the disruption of surrounding muscles, our spine surgery is proven safer and effective compared to traditional open neck or back surgery, and our patients experience a shorter recovery time.^

Patients with sciatica pain may benefit from a minimally invasive decompression surgery, which frees the sciatic nerve by removing a small piece of a damaged disc or bone spur that is pressing against it, or a minimally invasive stabilization surgery, which replaces the damaged disc or vertebra with an artificial disc and/or bone grafts to support the spine.

For more information about our minimally invasive procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today.