Shooting pain that goes through your hip and buttock and down one leg is a telltale symptom of sciatica. If you have pain like this, the skilled team at Total Orthopedics Spine and Sports Medicine can help. At locations in Englewood, Jersey City, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Bayonne, New Jersey, as well as the Castleton Corners area of Staten Island in New York City, they provide both conservative therapies and cutting-edge procedures to resolve the underlying cause of sciatica. Call the Total Orthopedics Spine and Sports Medicine office nearest you or book an appointment online today.
Sciatica is a term for symptoms of leg pain, numbness, and stiffness originating in the lower back. It's not a specific diagnosis; rather, it indicates an underlying problem like a ruptured (slipped) disc that’s causing nerve compression.
Sciatica pain travels down from your lower back through your hip or buttock and into your leg via the large sciatic nerve. This nerve descends from your lumbar spine and divides into two, with one branch continuing down each leg to your foot.
Sciatica symptoms are likely to include:
While it's possible for sciatica to affect both legs, it's far more common to experience symptoms in only one leg.
If you have sciatica, it could be due to a condition such as:
Degenerative disc disease is typically a result of aging, where a gradual breakdown of the spinal discs occurs over time. The discs become harder and flatter, so they're unable to absorb shock.
Lumbar disc herniation or a slipped disc is where damage to a disc in your lower back forces the jelly-like fluid inside to push through the outer layer.
Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the space between the vertebra in your lower back, which leads to nerve compression.
Spondylolisthesis is a problem that causes spinal misalignment when one vertebra overhangs another.
Factors that can increase your risk of developing sciatica include obesity, smoking, pregnancy, and sleeping in an awkward position.
The team at Total Orthopedics Spine and Sports Medicine uses conservative approaches initially. Treatments could include:
Physical therapy can be very effective in easing sciatica, but it may be difficult to manage the exercises due to the pain’s severity. Epidural steroid injections can help reduce sciatica pain sufficiently for you to participate in physical therapy.
For a majority of patients, surgery isn't necessary for sciatica. However, if no other treatments are working, surgeries such as microdiscectomy, artificial disc replacement, and discectomy and fusion could all remedy the compression of your sciatic nerve.
To find effective and practical solutions to painful sciatica, call Total Orthopedics Spine and Sports Medicine today or book an appointment online.