Sciatica pain is often confused with other types of back pain. Sciatica pain is caused by and felt along the path of the large sciatic nerve, which travels from the bottom of the spine and down each buttock, leg, and foot. If you feel radiating pain along this path, you may be experiencing sciatica pain.
When the sciatic nerve is pinched or compressed anywhere along its path, it can cause a host of symptoms. This includes pain in the lower back, buttock, leg, or foot. You can also experience numbness in the backside of the leg. It is more common to experience sciatica pain in one side of the lower body instead of both. Finally, sciatic nerve issues can cause worse symptoms when sitting, standing up, pending, twisting, or while coughing.
Sciatica is often caused by an underlying issue that compresses or pinches the sciatic nerve. Addressing the underlying issue can often relieve sciatica. Some common conditions that may cause sciatica include:
- Herniated lumbar disc
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Muscle spasm
- Lumbar degenerative disc disease
There are several risk factors that increase your risk of developing sciatica. If more than one risk factor applies to you, your risk gets higher. While these are not definite determinants of developing the condition, a combination of them can end up causing sciatica. Risk factors for sciatica include:
- Ergonomically improper furniture
- Lack of physical activity or an active lifestyle
- Occupations such as drivers, carpenters, and factory workers
- Family history of sciatica
Orthopedic physicians treat sciatica through different methods, depending on the patient’s medical history, health, and the severity of the condition. The first line of treatment when treating sciatica is the use of medications to control the pain. They include anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxers, narcotic or opiate pain killers, tricyclic antidepressants, and even anti-seizure medications. Finally, lumbar injections can also help relieve sciatica pain. The type of mediation or injection treatment you are prescribed will depend on the severity of your condition.
Another non-surgical treatment often used to treat sciatica is physical therapy. A physical therapist will coach you on ways to correct your posture, improve flexibility, and strengthen your body, while keeping an eye on preventing relapses or other types of injury. Physical therapy is great for strengthening the spine and muscles located in the lower back, buttocks, and hips.
Other similar forms of treatment include massage therapy and chiropractic care.
The final treatment option for sciatica is surgery. This option is reserved for severe cases that are not responding to other treatments. The surgery generally involves correcting the underlying issue causing the sciatic nerve to be compressed.
Sciatica Treatment in Boynton Beach, Florida
If you are experiencing sciatica pain and want to seek relief, see the medical professionals at Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches. Their board-certified and fellowship-trained staff have a wealth of experience treating all types of orthopedic issues such as sciatica. To make an appointment, call (561) 733-5888 or request an appointment online.