Sciatica symptoms and treatment methods

Sciatica symptoms can cause significant discomfort and loss of normal mobility, but many patients are able to find relief through conservative treatment methods. Sciatica occurs when inflamed or misaligned spinal anatomy, such as a herniated disc, compresses the sciatic nerve. This nerve is the longest in the body, beginning in the lower back, extending through the buttocks, hips and legs — which is why sciatica can be such a disruptive condition.

The long-term goal of treatment for sciatica focuses on relieving the pressure that is being placed on the nerve. Short-term pain management methods can also be employed to relieve pain and other discomfort that comes with this condition. If sciatica is affecting the life of you or someone you know, the following information can help you get the relief required to resume a healthy, active lifestyle.

Sciatica symptoms

Sciatica symptoms include shooting pains, dull aches, muscle weakness, numbness and/or tingling, and may be experienced in the following locations:

  • Lower back
  • Hips
  • Buttocks
  • Legs
  • Feet

Most patients typically experience these symptoms on one side of the body or the other, but it is possible to experience issues on both sides depending on the exact way the sciatic nerve is being compressed. These symptoms can be similar to other conditions, so it is important to see your primary care doctor for a proper diagnosis if symptoms persist for more than a few days.

Conservative treatment methods

Physicians and spine specialists typically begin sciatica treatment conservatively by prescribing a combination of methods like periods of rest, over-the-counter pain medication, physical therapy or the use of hot and/or cold compresses. Many patients are able to relieve their sciatica symptoms through these methods, but if several weeks or months of conservative treatment prove ineffective, surgery can become an option.

Laser Spine Institute

If surgery does become an option but you are concerned about the hospitalization and long recovery period that comes with traditional open back procedures, reach out to Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is performed on an outpatient basis because our surgeons use a muscle-sparing, less than 1-inch incision to access the spine and relieve nerve pressure. The result is a shorter recovery time^ with less risk of complications like failed back surgery syndrome compared to traditional procedures.

Contact us to see if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery by getting your no-cost MRI review.*

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