Slipped disc sciatica
There are a number of painful and uncomfortable symptoms associated with a lower back slipped disc. Sciatica is one of them.
The most common cause of sciatica is a slipped or herniated disc in the lumbar (lower) spine. When a disc becomes herniated, it can place pressure on surrounding nerves and nerve endings. In the case of sciatica, the slipped disc places pressure on the sciatic nerve, which is a large nerve that begins at the base of the spine and runs vertically down the back of each leg.
Symptoms of slipped disc-induced sciatica are the same as those of sciatica caused by spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, bone spurs or many other lower back conditions. Depending on the amount of disc matter pressing against the sciatic nerve, symptoms can range from a dull ache to a sharp burning sensation to a quick jolt of pain. Most of the time, symptoms begin in the lower back and radiate through the buttocks, down the legs and sometimes to the feet. In rare and severe cases, leg weakness or bladder and bowel dysfunction may be present. This may indicate a life-threatening condition called cauda equina syndrome, which requires immediate medical treatment.
Certain actions can intensify slipped disc sciatica symptoms, so your physician may evaluate your lifestyle and recommend that you modify any activities that could potentially worsen your condition. For instance, sitting or standing for extended periods of time, as well as any forward-bending motions, can aggravate sciatica symptoms.
However, for those who experience unpleasant symptoms of slipped disc symptoms like sciatica, there are quite a few treatment options available, such as:
- Exercises to help correct your posture and strengthen your core muscles to adequately support your spine
- Stretches to help manage leg and lower back pain
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs
- Steroid injections for patients with more severe symptoms
- Hot and cold therapies
The course of sciatica treatment your physician prescribes will largely depend on the severity of your symptoms. For individuals who continue to experience extreme, painful and debilitating slipped disc sciatica after weeks or months of conservative treatment, one of the minimally invasive procedures offered by Laser Spine Institute may be able to help. Our procedures have a shorter recovery time^ and significantly fewer side effects than traditional open back surgery. Contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn how we can help you reclaim your life.