Have you ever had pain radiating down your back, into your hips, buttocks, and one leg? Then, you may be familiar with sciatica. Millions of people in the United States experience this debilitating condition.
Diagnosis of sciatica usually involves a physical exam and an imaging test, such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan. From there, you can start treatment to alleviate the pain. Unfortunately, there’s no surefire way to prevent sciatica from returning, but you can take steps to lower your risk.
You can learn more about sciatica pain and treatment by contacting us at Interventional Pain Management Services. Our team of experienced providers would love to help you find your way back to less pain and more comfort. Read on to learn more about sciatica, as well as ways to manage it.
Sciatica usually only impacts one side of the body and starts when a bone spur on the spine or herniated disc compresses part of the sciatic nerve. This triggers inflammation, pain, and potential numbness or tingling on one leg down to your calf.
The severity of symptoms can range from dull aches to excruciating pain or burning sensations. For some people, pain flares up like an electric shock. Whatever symptoms you develop may worsen when you sit for lengthy amounts of time, sneeze, laugh, or cough.
Stopping sciatica symptoms
For many people, symptoms of sciatica diminish without invasive treatment within several weeks. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your provider may recommend:
- Oral medications, such as anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, or tricyclic antidepressants
- Rest, heat, and ice therapy
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
- Stretching exercises
When other treatments fail to help, surgery may be a valuable option. Surgery is typically called for when a compressed nerve causes issues. For example, a loss of bladder or bowel control, major weakness, or ongoing, severe symptoms. Surgery for sciatica involves removing a part of the herniated disc or the bone spur that’s causing problems.
Sciatica can’t always be prevented. For example, little can be done to guard against symptoms caused by pregnancy-related back strain, falling, or degenerative disc disease. To lower your risk of a recurrence, consider these steps:
- Avoid or stop smoking, which can contribute to disc degeneration
- Avoid sitting for long periods without a break
- Exercise routinely, to keep your abdominal and back muscles strong
If you suspect you or a loved one is experiencing sciatica symptoms, contact Interventional Pain Management Services and request an appointment today.