The shooting lower back and leg pain typical of sciatica can take your breath away. If you recognize this feeling, contact SEPA Pain & Spine at the practice’s Horsham, Langhorne, Meadowbrook, or Chalfont offices in Pennsylvania. The practice’s dedicated pain management specialists provide advanced treatments to reduce the nerve compression causing your sciatica. Call your nearest SEPA Pain & Spine office for expert sciatica care, or book an appointment online today.
Sciatica is a frequent cause of lower back pain that typically extends through the buttock and hip into one leg. It occurs when something presses on the sciatic nerve, which originates in your lower (lumbar) spine.
The nerve divides in your pelvis, and one branch goes down each leg. However, in most cases, symptoms only affect one of these branches.
Electric shock-like pain is the most common sciatica symptom. The pain often comes and goes depending on how much pressure the sciatic nerve is under. You might find you experience severe pain when coughing or sneezing. Other symptoms include:
In the most severe cases, sciatica can cause mobility problems or lead to incontinence.
Sciatica develops when something in your lumbar spine presses on the sciatic nerve, which can happen for several reasons. A herniated disc is a common cause, occurring when the soft inside of an intervertebral disc pushes through the tough outer shell. If the herniated material compresses your sciatic nerve, sciatica results.
A herniated disc is one cause of spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), but others may trigger sciatica too. For example, osteoarthritis can cause changes in the spine’s alignment and lead to bone spur growth that could cause nerve compression.
Pregnancy and excess body weight can affect spinal alignment and increase pressure on the sciatic nerve. Even regularly wearing high-heeled shoes could increase your risk of sciatica.
SEPA Pain & Spine offers comprehensive sciatica treatment. Anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy reduce inflammation and help the tissues heal, and many people recover well from sciatica without needing further treatment.
If your pain persists, SEPA Pain & Spine has several advanced therapies that can help. Epidural steroid injections contain powerful, long-acting anti-inflammatories and a local anesthetic. They often make it easier to take part in physical therapy for long-term improvement.
For the most persistent sciatica, you might need radiofrequency ablation. This minimally invasive fluoroscopy (moving X-ray) guided procedure involves heating the nerve tissue so your brain doesn’t receive pain messages.
Surgery might be necessary for some patients, or if nothing else helps, spinal cord stimulation (SCS) might. This involves implanting a remote-controlled unit under your skin that uses electrical pulses to interfere with pain messages traveling to your brain.
If you’re experiencing sciatica pain, call SEPA Pain & Spine today or book an appointment online for expert treatment.