The sciatic nerve begins at the lower back, and extends down through the back of each leg.
When this nerve is abnormally compressed or irritated, it causes sciatica, which is characterized by shooting pain in the area of the nerve.
What causes sciatica?
Sciatica is a symptom of another condition. In most cases, the pain is associated with:
The most common cause of sciatica, a herniated disc may place pressure on the root of the sciatic nerve, resulting in shooting pain and discomfort.
Spinal stenosis is characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal, which can put pressure on the surrounding nerves, resulting in sciatica.
This condition develops when a vertebra slips out of alignment and narrows the area that the sciatic nerve travels through.
In addition, a number of factors can contribute to worsening sciatica, including being overweight, leading a sedentary lifestyle and regularly wearing high heels.
The most common symptom associated with sciatica is shooting pain down one or both of your legs. However, the condition also has a number of other, lesser-known signs, including:
- Lower back pain
- Hip pain
- Leg tingling or burning
- Weakness or numbness
- Difficulty moving the leg or foot
- Leg pain that worsens when sitting down
Depending on the severity of your sciatica, your symptoms may be infrequent and easy to manage, or they may be chronic and debilitating. In either case, the condition has a tendency to get progressively worse, which is why we advise all of our Beverly Hills patients to seek prompt treatment.
Sciatica can typically be diagnosed with a thorough discussion of your symptoms and a physical exam. When you first arrive at our Los Angeles office, we will review the symptoms you’re experiencing to determine if they are in alignment with this condition.
From there, we will have you lie on your back with your legs straight. We will then raise your legs slowly and take note of when the pain appears, as this will provide us with information regarding which nerves are affected and whether or not your discs are involved. Once we’ve determined that your pain is caused by sciatica, we will determine the underlying condition with a series of imaging tests, such as an x-ray and MRI.
Premier treatment for your sciatica
In treating sciatica for our Beverly Hills patients, our primary goal is to relieve your pain and restore mobility. Traditionally, sciatica that’s unresponsive to conservative measures like rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, acupuncture and physical therapy is treated with steroid injections to reduce inflammation. However, these injections may only provide temporary relief and offer little more than a temporary Band-Aid solution until the medication wears off. Using state of the art x-ray/fluoroscopic and ultrasound guidance helps our spine specialists provide precise and often painless injection procedures.
At the Orthohealing Center, we strongly believe in the power of regenerative medicine for treating sciatica when conservative measures fail. By stimulating the body’s natural healing response, these procedures often allow us to naturally deliver profound and long-lasting pain relief.