Sciatica refers to a group of symptoms that occur when the sciatic nerve is pinched at the spine. The nerve leaves both sides of your spinal cord near the bottom of the spine, goes through each side of your buttocks and down each leg. As it goes down your legs, the nerve branches out several times.
Several health conditions can compress the sciatic nerve, including:
- A herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Bone spurs
- A slipped disc
About 90% of all cases of sciatica are caused by a herniated disc. A herniated disc develops when the gellike center of a spinal disc pushes through a damaged or weakened area in the tough outer covering.
Sciatica is known for causing debilitating pain that starts in your lower back and radiates down the leg. It usually only affects one leg, but you could feel the pain all the way down to the foot and in various parts of the leg.
The pain is often described as an electric-shock or shooting pain, although it can feel more like a burning pain. It’s also common to experience tingling and numbness along your leg. In severe cases, you can develop muscle weakness.
The first line of treatment of sciatica is conventional management, but most of the medical therapies now available produce only limited results. The doctors at Spinal Diagnostics offer effective options in the form of interventional treatments like:
Epidural steroid injection
Your doctor at Spinal Diagnostics precisely targets the sciatic nerve using real-time imaging to guide the needle’s placement. The injection contains steroids and a local anesthetic so you’ll get quick pain relief while waiting for the steroids to reduce the inflammation. As the injection goes into the epidural space between the spine and spinal cord, the medication flows around the sciatic nerve for the best possible relief.
Spinal cord stimulation
Spinal cord stimulation relieves pain by sending a mild electrical impulse into the sciatic nerve. The electrical impulse blocks nerve signals, providing the same pain relief as an anesthetic. However, your relief lasts longer because the spinal cord stimulator is implanted alongside the nerve.
If you struggle through your day with sciatica, call Spinal Diagnostics or schedule an appointment online today to learn about the interventional treatments available.