Your Treatment Options for Sciatica

You need to roll out of bed, quite literally, or you can’t stand up straight without pain searing through your lower back and leg. Sciatica can make even the most simple movement a teeth-gritting affair, and you want to be able to move without pain again.

The team of spinal health experts here at Spinal Diagnostics understands the discomfort of sciatica, so we offer several treatment options that can help you move freely again.

In the following, we explore how sciatica develops and how we can bring you much-needed relief from this debilitating condition.

Sciatica basics

We feel it’s crucial to understand a bit about the basics of sciatica so that you better understand your treatment options. 

Your sciatic nerve is the largest in your body. It’s formed by five nerve roots in your lumbar spine that create a single nerve. This nerve begins in your low back and splits into two, traveling down each side of your buttocks and into each of your legs, all the way down to your feet.

When this nerve is compromised, you can experience symptoms that extend down the nerve, leaving you with pain, numbness, or tingling that starts in your low back and goes down into one of your legs. These symptoms are called sciatica, which isn’t a condition, but the result of a pinched nerve in your spine.

Sciatica affects 10-40% of the population in the United States, and the primary culprit behind the problem is a herniated disc. Other conditions that can lead to sciatica include:

  • Lumbar stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

When you have sciatica, our first goal is to determine the underlying cause of the nerve compression so that we can design a treatment plan that will bring you meaningful relief.

Treating sciatica

Once we identify the root cause of your sciatica, we tailor a plan to meet your pain-relief needs and lifestyle goals.

We prefer to start conservatively, at first, with:

  • Hot and cold therapies
  • Rest
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy

Should these measures prove ineffective, we can turn to an epidural steroid injection. With this technique, we deliver both a local anesthetic and a steroid directly into the epidural space where the nerve is irritated. This treatment acts quickly to relieve your pain and brings down any inflammation that may be irritating your sciatic nerve.

If you have a condition like lumbar stenosis or degenerative disc disease, which are both progressive, and struggle with ongoing sciatica problems, we can turn to spinal cord stimulation. With this approach, we insert a device that delivers electrical impulses into your spinal cord that disrupt the pain messaging to your brain.

As you can see, we offer treatment options that address varying degrees of sciatica with the singular goal of helping you to move again without pain.

To figure out which sciatica treatment option is best for you, contact one of our locations in Tualatin or Newberg, Oregon, to set up an appointment.

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