Sciatica is a term that describes the pain and symptoms of a compressed sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve root in the body and is located in the lower back, extending from the lumbar spine into the legs. When this nerve root is compressed, symptoms of severe pain, numbness and tingling can radiate from the lower back, through the buttocks and sometimes as far down as the feet.
These symptoms can be managed through a series of conservative treatment or spine surgery, depending on the severity of the sciatica damage. The first step to determining the type of treatment that will be most effective for your condition is to diagnose the cause of your sciatic nerve compression. To do this, you must schedule an appointment with your physician and undergo a series of physical and imaging exams to identify the root cause of your condition.
Can injury cause sciatica pain?
While the most common cause of sciatica is the natural weakening and deterioration of the spine, there are several other potential causes of sciatica pain, including injury.
Because the sciatic nerve is in the lower back, it is susceptible to injury from high-impact sports, accidents or trauma. The lumbar spine (lower back) is responsible for absorbing most of the body’s weight as well as the impacts of heavy steps (such as running on concrete or hard surfaces), body collisions during impact sports, and the sudden bend or twist that can occur with a fall or car accident. All of these instances of injury can cause components of the spine to move out of alignment and press against the sciatic nerve.
For many patients, the pain of sciatic nerve compression can be treated through nonsurgical methods designed to remove pressure from the sciatic nerve. These treatments include:
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
- Chiropractic treatments
- Acupuncture or acupressure
Surgery for sciatica injury
Sciatica surgery is often a last resort if months of conservative treatment have not offered pain relief. If you are considering surgery for your sciatica pain, consider the minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our procedures offer patients a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery by performing each procedure through a small incision with no muscle disruption. Because of our careful techniques and minimal invasion, our patients experience a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of surgical complication than patients who opt for traditional spine surgery.
For many patients, a minimally invasive decompression surgery is used to help alleviate sciatica pain. In some instances of severe damage to the spine, a minimally invasive stabilization surgery may be recommended. Both procedures at Laser Spine Institute have been used to relieve the chronic pain and symptoms of more than 75,000 patients since 2005.
For more information about the advantages of our minimally invasive spine surgery, or to see if you are a candidate for our procedures, please contact Laser Spine Institute today. We can look at your MRI report or CT scan and help you find the best treatment option available to you.