Understanding Sciatica: The Road to Recovery

sciaticaHave you been diagnosed with sciatica? Lower-body nerve pain can be acute, but relief is in sight! Learning more about sciatica and understanding your sciatica treatment options is your starting point down the road to recovery. Hampton Roads Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine offers a brief guide to this mild-to-severe painful lumbar nerve inflammation below.

What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is pain caused by irritation or inflammation in or around the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in your lower back and runs through your hips, branching off down your legs. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body.

What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica most commonly occurs when something presses against the sciatic nerve. This could be caused by a muscle spasm, herniated disk, a bone spur on the spine or a narrowing of the spine called spinal stenosis.

What are the Symptoms of Sciatica?
The biggest symptom of sciatica is pain that radiates from your lower back to your buttock or hip and down the back of your leg. The pain could be sharp or dull, and it might be accompanied by numbness, weakness, or tingling.

Severe cases requiring immediate medical attention, manifest the following symptoms:

  • Loss of bladder or bowel function.
  • Weakness in the affected leg.
  • Loss of feeling in the affected leg.

Although most people fully recover from sciatica, it may potentially cause permanent nerve damage.

What is the Treatment?
When it comes to treating sciatica, you have many options.

  • Medications can help with the pain. Your doctor might prescribe an anti-inflammatory or muscle relaxant, steroids to control inflammation or recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Many people find relief with a cold compress or ice pack. Others gain relief from a heating pad. For maximum relief, alternate hot and cold compresses.
  • Physical therapy, stretches and yoga are very effective treatments. Stretching will relieve the pain and help prevent it from coming back.
  • Some cases respond well to lumbar epidural steroid injections (ESIs).
  • Surgery is rarely needed and is only for severe cases.

We Can Help!
If you have sciatica, please contact us for help at HROSM by calling (757) 873-1554 or scheduling online. We look forward to exploring your symptoms, identifying the best treatment plan for you and expediting your road to recovery and relief.

2018-05-03T13:42:26+00:00April 28th, 2018|Blog, DR. SHOEMAKER|