Sciatica pain can range from mild and annoying to severely painful. If you suffer from sciatica, Lewis Frazier, Jr., MD, at Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care in Plano, Texas, can help. Dr. Frazier, Jr. offers comprehensive treatment and support to help you overcome sciatica pain. Call the office to make an appointment today.
Sciatica Q & A
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is actually a symptom, not a medical condition in its own right. It describes severe pain that travels the length of the longest nerve in your body, the sciatic nerve. This nerve extends from your lower back to your hips, through your buttocks, and down each of your legs. It ends just below your knee.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Some of the symptoms of sciatica include:
- A burning sensation down the leg
- Shooting pain down your lower back, hip, buttock, and leg
- Tingling, numbness, or weakened muscles in the leg or foot
- A sensation like an electric shock down your leg
- Acute pain when you cough or sneeze
- Persistent pain in one side of your buttocks
- Increased pain when you sit for a long time
The intensity of your pain can vary. In some cases, it can be mildly annoying and flare up occasionally. In other cases, it can be excruciating and interfere with daily activity.
What causes sciatica?
Sciatica is a symptom of another issue and not a condition in and of itself. Most often, it’s caused by a herniated disc. When one of the cushioning discs in your spinal column slips out or leaks fluid, it can irritate the sciatic nerve.
Individuals who have diabetes, live a sedentary lifestyle, and are overweight are at a higher risk of developing sciatica pain.
Sciatica can also be a symptom of piriformis syndrome, a case where the piriformis muscle deep in your buttocks becomes tight and puts pressure on the sciatic nerve.
How is sciatica treated?
Sciatica treatment usually starts with making healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, exercising more often, and undergoing physical therapy to improve your spinal support. A removable back brace may also help.
If you have persistent sciatica pain that doesn’t improve with those adjustments and occasional oral medication, Dr. Frazier, Jr. may recommend pain-relieving injections.
How is sciatica treated?
Dr. Frazier, Jr. administers injections such as lumbar epidural steroid injections to relieve sciatica pain. These injections contain both a local anesthetic for pain and a corticosteroid for inflammation.
Dr. Frazier, Jr. positions these injections in the specific area where your sciatic nerve irritation occurs, which can lead to excellent back and leg pain relief. Injections can ease sciatica pain for up to a few months.
Steroid injections can help with neck pain (cervical injections) and middle back pain (thoracic injections), too.
Physiotherapy, including gentle stretches, may also be an important part of your sciatica recovery.
Put an end to your sciatica pain today by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Frazier, Jr. and calling Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care today.