Sciatic nerve roots

Sciatic nerve roots are the point where the sciatic nerve branches off from the spinal cord. The sciatic nerve — which is the longest in the body — is responsible for carrying sensations from your pelvic area, buttocks and lower limbs to your brain, and allows movement in your legs and feet by sending motor impulses from your brain to your lower limbs.

Formed from nerve bundles that pair up and branch off the spine, your nerve roots exit the spinal column through foramina — small openings in the vertebrae — and form a network of nerves throughout the body.

Nerve roots are a critical component in the peripheral nervous system — forming the junction between the spinal cord and the rest of the body. Therefore, each nerve root plays a vital role in all of our sensory and motor functions.

Sciatic nerve root compression

Certain spine conditions, such as a bulging or herniated disc, can put pressure on nearby nerve roots. Compression of one or more of the sciatic nerve roots will lead to a set of symptoms known as sciatica. These include any of the following:

  • Burning pain that starts on one side of the body; begins in the lower back, then shoots down through the buttock, leg and foot
  • Worsening pain with prolonged sitting or standing
  • Bursts of pain occurring after sudden or strained movements
  • Foot weakness accompanied by intensifying foot pain that may prevent movement

Sciatica treatments

If you develop sciatica, talk to your physician about designing a treatment plan specifically for the lumbar spine nerve roots. He or she will probably first prescribe a series of nonsurgical, conservative treatments. Some conservative treatments for sciatica include anti-inflammatory drugs, short-term narcotic pain management, lumbar steroid injections and physical therapy.

If these conservative remedies don’t relieve your pain and other sciatica symptoms, you may require surgery. Before agreeing to a highly invasive traditional open back surgery, we encourage you to explore your minimally invasive options, such as minimally invasive spine surgery from Laser Spine Institute.

The surgeons at Laser Spine Institute may be able to treat your sciatica with our minimally invasive decompression or stabilization procedures, which are performed on an outpatient basis. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is often the clinically appropriate first choice and provides many advantages versus open neck or back surgery, such as smaller incisions, faster recoveries^ and less risk of complication.

Contact Laser Spine Institute for your no-cost MRI review* and take an important step toward treating your pain — you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery.