Sciatica is very common, affecting as many as 40% of men and women at some point in their lifetime. For some, sciatica is an acute problem, but for others the condition is chronic. The experts at Orthopedic Specialists in Palm Harbor, Florida, specialize in the diagnosis and management of sciatica and can develop a treatment plan to help you get relief from your pain, whether your condition is acute or chronic. For a consultation, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Sciatica is often grouped with low back pain, but the pain itself generates from the sciatic nerve and can occur anywhere along the path of the nerve. This thick nerve runs from your lumbar spine down through your buttocks and into your legs on both sides of your body. The purpose of the sciatic nerve is to provide sensation to your legs and feet, and assist in the motor function of your thigh muscles.
Sciatica occurs when the nerve is irritated, which most often develops from a herniated disc or bone spur. A narrowing of your spine due to osteoarthritis can also press and irritate the nerve, leading to pain and discomfort.
The most notable symptom of sciatica is an electric shock-like pain that travels down one side of your body. Other common symptoms include:
You may notice that pain worsens with certain activities or when you’re sitting for an extended period of time. While mild cases of sciatica may resolve on their own, if you’re experiencing symptoms that don’t seem to be improving, the team at Orthopedic Specialists can help.
The team at Orthopedic Specialists conducts a comprehensive examination when you come in with symptoms that may indicate sciatica. During your evaluation, your doctor reviews your symptoms and medical history and performs various tests to assess the function and muscle strength of your lower extremities.
Because sciatica often develops from an underlying spinal condition, your doctor may recommend diagnostic imaging such as an MRI to determine the cause of your pain.
Treatment for your sciatica may depend on the severity of your pain and the underlying cause. The team at Orthopedic Specialists initiates treatment with a conservative approach, which may include:
Your doctor may also recommend a corticosteroid injection to help reduce inflammation and pain. Surgery is rarely recommended for the treatment of sciatica, but your doctor may suggest it if your condition isn’t improving with conservative measures.
For management of your sciatica, call Orthopedic Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.