What is Sciatica?
Your sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body. It is made from nerve roots that start in your lower spine and then branch out as it travels down your leg.
Sciatica is a condition in which one or more nerve roots in the lumbar spine are compressed, or pinched that typically causes:
- Pain in the buttocks and/or legs
- A tingling, weakness, or numbness of the affected area
- Pain that travels down the path of the sciatic nerve
What causes Sciatica?
Sciatica is most commonly caused by a defect in the lower back and the pelvis area. Some of the conditions that may trigger sciatica symptoms include:
- Lumbar Herniated Disc
- Spinal Stenosis
- Degenerative Disc Disease
It is unlikely that you have sciatica because of one injury. Instead, it is something that develops over time. Some people are fortunate and their sciatica pain clear up on its own within a few weeks. However, for other people the pain is chronic, it is severe, and it is debilitating.
What are the symptoms of Sciatica?
The symptoms triggered by sciatica can be most unpleasant. It is likely that you will experience lower back aches. There is a stinging sensation that feels like 100 hot needles have been stuck into your buttocks. The muscles get extremely tight. You feel the pain in your hip, your outer thigh, and the back of your thigh. Your lower leg gets numb, and your feet start to feel tender, sensitive, and numb. Most sciatica sufferers are surprised at how debilitating it is.
- Some of the most commonly felt symptoms include:
- Constant pain on one side of the leg or buttocks
- Pain gets worse when you sit
- Pain that feels like burning, searing, or tingling. It does not feel like a dull ache
- Muscle weakness, making it difficult for you to move your leg, foot, or toes
- A radiating pain that travels down the leg to the foot
Sciatic pain fluctuates. You could have moments where your sciatic pain is very infrequent. Other times, it’s constant, insidious, and incapacitating. Your symptoms will fluctuate depending on the part of the sciatic nerve that has been pinched. While sciatica symptoms are excruciating, it is rare that the damage becomes so severe that permanent nerve tissue damage results.
Treating and Diagnosing Sciatica
There is no denying the horrific pain sciatica causes. If you are currently suffering with the symptoms of sciatica, we want to know that we empathize with your pain. Our goal from the first day we see you is to help you manage your sciatica pain in the short-term and for the long-term.
Of course, the only way that we can do this is if we accurately understand the pain that you are experiencing. For this reason, the first thing we do when you come into our office is to sit and listen to you. Tell us about your unique and individual experience with sciatica pain. This will allow us to create a unique and individualized pain management treatment specifically designed for you.
Regardless of what your friends, family members, or other medical professionals have said, we know that the pain you are experiencing is real. It is not a cry for attention, and it is not an attempt to gain access to prescription drugs, but it is tangible, it is quantifiable, it is real.
Sciatica does not need to define who you are or how you live your life. Let us use our years of expertise to work with you to create a program that will get you back to living the life you did before sciatica.