Make Pain a Thing of the Past – sciatica – Physician Partners of America

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Jerry: How familiar is this to you? Lower back pain that reaches down your legs. Well it’s something a lot of you could be experiencing right now. And a common cause of this, by the way, is something called sciatica. You’ve probably heard of that. Dr. Rudy Gari from Florida Pain Relief Group joins us now to explain what it is exactly. Welcome back to you, Dr. Gari.

Dr. Gari: Thanks, Jerry.

Jerry: So we hear a lot about sciatica. What is it? What causes it?

Dr. Gari: Sciatica basically is a shooting pain, shooting sensation that goes from your lower back and shoots often all the way down to your foot. The reason it’s called sciatica is because it often involves what’s called the sciatic nerve. A sciatic nerve is a large nerve. It’s your main nerve that goes through your leg and often is caused by some sort of an inflammatory process. A lot of times it’s a bulging disc. It’s a herniated disc. You twisted the wrong way. Something is pinching causing inflammation. And you get a very severe shooting sensation that can be very, very debilitating.

Jerry: So a lot of things can cause it but it’s generally related to some sort of a nerve issue?

Dr. Gari: What I tell people is, if you’ve hit what they call your funny bone.

Jerry: Yes.

Dr. Gari: When you push here it shoots down to your fingers, right? Well it’s the same thing that happens with sciatica.

Jerry: Oh got it.

Dr. Gari: Instead of pushing your elbow something’s pushing your lower back and shooting down to your foot.

Jerry: So how does this change people’s daily life?

Dr. Gari: Just last week I had a patient that came in with a severe sciatica. She came in in tears. She was hurting so bad she could not even sit. She basically had to lay down on the bed. She was just crying with so much pain that she had.

Jerry: That’s debilitating.

Dr. Gari: Yes.

Jerry: That says it all right there. All right. Let’s talk about treatment options then. How did you help this woman?

Dr. Gari: Well the first thing that I did, of course, was to make a diagnosis. After the history and physical examination I found that she had the classic symptoms. She had the shooting pain. The exam showed that she had decreased sensation, so forth. That’s indicative of some sort of a disc herniation pushing on that sciatic nerve. The definitive diagnosis I sent her for MRI. And sure enough it came back that she had a herniated disc between the fifth vertebrae and the first sacral vertebrae pinching on that nerve. We brought her in two days later. She was very heavily medicated because of the pain.

Jerry: Sure.

Dr. Gari: What we did for her, we gave her these injections that went close to that nerve root. Reduced the inflammation. The inflammation pretty much went away. She had two treatments, two injections, a week apart. This person was a marketing representative and she traveled a lot. She could not even go anywhere and she’s back at work.

Jerry: Isn’t that great?

Dr. Gari: I sent her to physical therapy to make sure she strengthens her core muscles. If she can take great care of herself, which I’m sure that she will, she can get back to a normal life.

Jerry: Which is fantastic. Is a treatment like that is it permanent or do you have to keep coming back for these injections?

Dr. Gari: This can be permanent if, and it’s a big if. For example, what caused that disc herniation to herniate in the first place: Normally it’s weak core muscles. We sit a lot. We do a lot of things. So it herniates. We get the inflammation. The inflammation ends up going away. Physical therapy, and that disc can actually shrink back. So it can be permanent.

Jerry: So you have to take care of yourself after you get the injections.

Dr. Gari: Yes you do.

Jerry: All right. Dr. Gari, thanks so much. You can contact Florida Pain Relief Group to schedule your same day appointment right now. We’ll be right back with more after this.

Sacroiliac joint injections are used to treat dysfunction of the sacroiliac, or SI, joint, located at the bottom of the spine, just above the tailbone. This joint has a large of responsibility. Not only does it absorb shock for the lower back, but it also connects the sacrum with the pelvis and helps to transmit movement to the pelvis and legs. Due to this constant stress, it is not uncommon for SI joint pain to develop as a result of osteoarthritis, overexertion, or long periods of immobility, as may occur if someone sits for long periods of time at a desk for work.

SI joint dysfunction symptoms can often mimic other symptoms that affect the lower back, such as sciatica or a herniated disc:

  • Dull or throbbing pain in the lower back
  • Radiating pain that moves down the buttocks and legs
  • Weakness in the lower back or legs

Before considering sacroiliac joint injections as a treatment option, it is extremely important for a doctor to accurately diagnosis the condition and make sure another degenerative spine condition or injury isn’t causing your back pain. An SI joint injection may initially be used for diagnostic purposes so that your doctor can pinpoint the source of your discomfort.

How Sacroiliac Joint Injections Work

A sacroiliac joint injection also called a sacroiliac joint block, involves a special type of X-ray called a fluoroscope to help the doctor guide the needle into the correct location in the joint. A numbing anesthetic such as lidocaine is usually injected into the joint. If this stops the pain, the doctor can confirm that the SI joint is the culprit. A steroid solution is also injected into the joint to reduce inflammation and pain.

The local anesthetic can help to relieve pain immediately but will wear off within a few hours. It is the slow-release steroid that can provide longer-lasting pain relief. The steroid begins to work within a few days of receiving the injections. Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may recommend sacroiliac joint injections every few months.

Sacroiliac Joint Injections in Florida and Texas

If you’re looking for pain relief specialists with extensive experience administering sacroiliac joint injections, turn to the experts at Physician Partners of America. Our pain clinics offer a compassionate, supportive environment where we will take the time to ask questions about your pain and learn what treatments you’ve already tried. Using this information, we can then formulate a targeted pain relief plan.

We know that SI joint pain can affect everything you do. You may feel like this chronic discomfort has put your life on hold. At Physician Partners of America, our goal is to become your partner for long-term pain management and healing. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

If you’ve ever heard someone complain of low back pain, sciatica may have been the culprit. Sciatica is a term used to describe a group of symptoms that can develop in the lower back when an injury or degenerative condition is placing pressure on the sciatic nerve. Some of the most common conditions that can lead to sciatica include:

  • Bulging disc
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal arthritis
  • Spondylolisthesis

Because these conditions can affect the anatomical components of the spine, including its vertebrae, intervertebral discs, and ligaments, it’s no surprise that changes in the spine’s structure or stability can have an effect on the sciatic nerve or its nerve roots and cause sciatica pain.

Sciatica Symptoms

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It begins in the lower part of the spinal cord (the lumbar spine) and extends all the way down the back of the thigh. Just above the back of the knee, the sciatic nerve divides into nerve branches to deliver sensation to the calf and foot.

Compression on the roots of this nerve can lead to a variety of painful symptoms that span the length of the lower body:

  • A warm or electric sensation affecting the lower extremities
  • Numbness or loss of feeling in the thigh, lower leg, or foot
  • Shooting pain that begins in the lower back and radiates down through the buttocks, leg, and calf

Sciatica can affect both sides of the body, but it is far more common for it to only affect one side. This occurs because of the anatomical issue in the spine, such as a herniated disc, generally only affects the nerve roots on one side of the spinal column. Sciatica pain can make sitting or standing for long periods of time excruciating, though most people find that slow walking or lying down helps to alleviate symptoms.

Does Sciatica Always Require Surgery?

Pain relief for sciatica can take a variety of forms. While surgery for sciatica is available, trying all nonsurgical treatments prior to considering surgery is recommended. Sciatica therapy is aimed at managing symptoms and helping to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Sciatica treatments can include physical therapy, gentle stretching, low-impact exercise, steroids and anti-inflammatory medication. If these sciatic therapies are ineffective, more targeted back pain treatments may be necessary:

Sciatica Pain Treatment in Texas and Florida

At Physician Partners of America, we know that sciatica pain can affect every aspect of your life. Chronic low back pain can make it difficult to do your job, exercise, and socialize with others. Our experienced team of back pain doctors and sciatica specialists is committed to helping you regain your life and keep pain at bay. We offer sciatica treatment at clinics throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area so finding effective, customized care has never been more convenient. Make today the day you start taking your life back from back pain by scheduling an appointment with the physicians of Physician Partners of America.

Got sciatica pain and nowhere to go?

Well, now you do. Physician Partners of America has pain clinics in Tampa to make sure sciatica pain relief is always just moments away.

Let’s talk a little bit about sciatica real quick.

The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back (lumbar region), down through your hips and buttocks and down each leg branching out into the feet. Half of your body can feel pain when this nerve suffers compression at any point.

This compression, or pressure on the nerves, is usually due to either: bone spurs, abnormal growths (cysts or tumors), herniated/slipped discs, or a disorder called spinal stenosis where the spinal canal is narrowed.

Symptoms of sciatica may be shooting pains down one leg, tingling sensations or numbness.

Tampa Sciatica Pain Relief Treatments

Treating your sciatica pain at our Tampa clinics can be done through minimally invasive surgeries or procedures using medication, or through non-pharmacological therapies where a more natural approach is taken. Our clinics offer a well-rounded, complete pain management environment where a variety of pain relief treatments can be utilized to get you better faster.

Depending upon the underlying cause for your sciatica pain, our doctors will discuss the best treatment options for you.

Selection of Sciatica Treatments

Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection – Epidural steroid injections deliver medication directly (or as close as possible to) the source of pain generation.

Lumbar Sympathetic Block – A lumbar sympathetic block is an injection in the lower back that targets the lumbar sympathetic nerves, a series of nerves that carry pain signals from the lower extremities.

Nerve Block – A nerve block is an anesthetic or anti-inflammatory injection into a particular nerve or group of nerves for pain relief. The aim is to block pain signal(s) coming from a specific location in the body and/or decrease inflammation in that area.

Non-Pharmacological – A more organic and natural approach to healing with non-drug treatments, we offer such therapies as acupuncture, acupressure, aromatherapy, physical therapy, massage, guided symbolism, pet therapy and more. Used in conjunction with our other methods, these procedures do very well to keep pain managed over time.

Are You At Risk for Sciatica?

A factory worker has to lift heavy boxes all day and toss them in a truck. The sheer amount of pressure applied to their spine with each lift and toss is potentially dangerous.

An elderly man who doesn’t like getting assistance who wants to continue doing things on his own. The natural wear-and-tear on his spine over the many years makes his back incapable of handling what would otherwise be routine movements and physical activities like sweeping the porch or sliding an end table over.

An overweight woman who has been battling obesity for years and can’t seem to manage it. The sheer amount of excess weight bearing down on her spine at every movement will eventually cause spinal disorders.

What do these people have in common? They are each at risk for sciatica due to increased risk of a pinched sciatic nerve in their spine due to a herniated disc. Occupation, age and obesity are three major risk factors for sciatica. While one cannot easily change their job or weight, extra care must be taken when doing strenuous activities to avoid injury. When it comes to age, at some point the body simply can’t do what it once did and this is why medical assistance is available.

Sciatica Pain Relief in Tampa

Sciatica is often lumped together with lower back pain, which in some instances it can be, but this disorder also speaks to pain in your hips, buttocks and legs. The pain is often only felt on one side of the body or the other, and it can be either be mild or extremely painful.

Our pain management doctors offer sciatica relief in Tampa. Please contact Florida Pain Relief Group if you feel you are suffering from lower back, hip, buttock or leg pain and can identify with any of the three risk factors listed above. Pain relief can begin immediately.