Sciatica pain can range from nagging to severe and disabling. Regardless of its intensity, you want it gone so you can resume all the activities you love. The team of physicians at Rincon Pain and Spine in Tucson, Arizona, have over 60 years of combined experience treating sciatica at its source, so you experience relief from your symptoms and reduce the likelihood that the pain will return in the future. Call the office location nearest you or request an appointment online today.
Sciatica is a symptom, not a condition in itself. It occurs when the sciatic nerve that runs down the back of your legs comes under pressure from surrounding tissue.
The roots of the sciatic nerve are in the lumbar region of your spine, which is your lower back. After exiting your spine, the nerve splits in two, with one branch going down each leg. Usually, just one branch of the nerve is affected, so you feel pain and weakness in just one leg.
Sciatica symptoms range from mild to severe. They include:
Sciatica can develop at any age but is most common when you’re 30-50.
Sciatica often occurs due to a ruptured or herniated disc — the pressure of which compresses the nerve. Sciatica may also result when the piriformis muscle presses against the nerve.
Sciatica may also be caused by:
This condition affects the nerves in your lower spinal cord.
This condition describes the narrowing of the spinal cavity in your lower back.
Spondylolisthesis can cause your vertebrae to slip out of alignment and pinch the sciatic nerve.
With degenerative disc disease, the discs between each vertebra wear down, making them more likely to shift and cause pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Pregnancy, infection, and spinal tumors may also compress the spinal nerve and cause sciatica symptoms. You’re more prone to sciatica if you have diabetes, live a sedentary lifestyle, or are overweight.
Sciatica is diagnosed based on your symptoms and a comprehensive physical exam. The doctors at Rincon Pain and Spine may also order X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm the diagnosis.
Usually, conservative treatments enable you to get back to a normal, pain-free life with full mobility. Rest, gentle exercise, physical therapy, and other treatments, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, hot and cold therapy, and gentle manipulations, can help.
If you have severe sciatica, the doctors may recommend a steroid shot to ease your pain temporarily.
To learn more about the available treatments for sciatica, call Rincon Pain and Spine, or request an appointment online today.