What is the symptom of sciatica?
Some people are surprised to learn that there is actually more than one symptom of sciatica. While the term sciatica is often used casually to describe chronic leg pain, sciatica is defined as a set of symptoms that can develop as a result of the compression of the sciatic nerve. In other words, there are many different symptoms of sciatica, and to better understand why this is, it can be helpful to learn about what sciatica actually entails.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in the body. It originates from the base of the spinal canal in the lower back and extends downward through the buttocks, hips and legs before culminating in the feet. This nerve is absolutely essential for facilitating movement and, as a result, we rely heavily on the sciatic nerve. Sciatica occurs when this nerve becomes constricted, most commonly in the lumbar spine as the sciatic nerve branches off the spinal cord. Commonly, this condition can be traced to lower back injury or the presence of a degenerative spine condition such as spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease or spondylolisthesis. When sciatic nerve compression occurs, any number of symptoms can develop depending on the exact location, cause and severity of the problem. Common symptoms include lower back pain, chronic leg pain, muscle weakness in the lower body and numbness or tingling in the legs and feet.
For patients who have been diagnosed with sciatica, there are many available treatment options. The goal is to address the patient’s symptoms. Some common forms of sciatica treatment include:
- Conservative methods like low-impact exercise, stretching techniques and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Complementary and alternative treatments like deep tissue massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care and the use of natural supplements
- Surgical intervention designed to decompress the sciatic nerve and/or stabilize the spine
Laser Spine Institute
At Laser Spine Institute, we specialize in state-of-the-art procedures that are minimally invasive in nature. Our highly advanced procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and have a 98 percent patient satisfaction score. If you have been diagnosed with sciatica and are currently exploring your treatment options, contact Laser Spine Institute. We’ll be glad to help you determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures by providing you with a no-cost MRI review.*