Sciatic neuralgia

Sciatic neuralgia describes the set of symptoms associated with compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, which is the longest and widest nerve in the body. Beginning at the level of the fourth lumbar (lower) vertebra, the sciatic nerve runs through the buttocks and down the legs.

Because of the large size of the nerve and the vulnerability of the lower back to degenerative spine conditions, sciatica is a common source of lower body pain and can limit mobility. If you have been diagnosed with sciatic neuralgia, this article offers information to help you and your physician develop a treatment plan to return you to a healthy active life.

Specific symptoms of sciatic neuralgia

While the term neuralgia can refer to a large range of nerve-related pain, sciatic neuralgia refers to a specific set of symptoms associated with compression of the sciatic nerve. These symptoms can also be called sciatica and include:

  • Localized pain at the site of the nerve compression
  • Constant pain in the hips, upper leg or buttocks
  • Radiating pain shooting down the lower back, buttocks and the legs
  • Tingling in the buttocks or legs
  • Numbness or weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs, feet or toes

Treatment for sciatic neuralgia

While living with sciatica can be uncomfortable, it’s important to know that in many cases the symptoms can be managed using conservative treatment methods such as pain medication, physical therapy, epidural steroid injections and lifestyle changes like diet and exercise.

However, if chronic symptoms persist after several weeks of conservative treatment, surgery might become an option. Traditional open back surgery to decompress the sciatic nerve involves large muscle-tearing incision. Recovering from one of these procedures requires an overnight hospital stay and a long, difficult rehabilitation period.

If you are exploring surgical options but are concerned about downsides associated with traditional procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery uses a less than 1-inch incision to access the spine, sparing muscles and leading to a shorter recovery time.^

To find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures reach out to our dedicated team of Spine Care Consultants today for a no-cost MRI review.*