How to Get Relief for Your Sciatica

Sciatica is a widespread chronic pain condition — 10-40% of American adults live with it. Despite its prevalence, sciatica is widely misunderstood, and there are many myths about its causes and treatments. 

At Spine & Pain Institute of Florida in Lakeland, Florida, Dr. Navdeep Jassal, our board-certified pain-management specialist, diagnoses the root cause of sciatica and provides personalized treatment plans to relieve your symptoms and address the underlying cause. We can help you feel better; let’s explore how. 

About sciatica

In order to understand your treatment options, you need some facts about sciatica. For example, it isn’t a condition in itself, but a group of symptoms that occur when something compresses your sciatic nerve. 

Symptoms of sciatica

Your sciatic nerve starts in your lower back, extending down toward your pelvis, where it splits to travel down each of your buttocks, hips, and legs, ending just above your ankle. This why sciatic symptoms include:

Your symptoms may become more severe after you stand or sit for extended periods. It might also feel worse when you bend or twist your spine or if you cough or sneeze. 

Depending on the location of your sciatic nerve compression, your symptoms can affect one or both sides of your body. 

Causes of sciatica

One of the most prevalent causes of sciatica is a herniated disc in your lumbar spine. Your sciatica could also be caused by a bone spur, spinal stenosis, or a tumor. Nerve damage due to another health condition like diabetes can also trigger sciatica. 

Your risk of sciatica increases if you’re overweight, you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you have a physically demanding career or hobby, or you have a weak core. Your age, medical history, and other lifestyle factors contribute to your risk.        

Getting relief for your sciatica

Treatment to relieve sciatica depends on the condition causing it. After a comprehensive exam, Dr. Jassal might recommend the following:

At-home care

If your symptoms are mild, we might recommend over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, practicing gentle stretches, and applying ice and heat to your lower back. 

Physical therapy

Physical therapy increases your strength and flexibility, which can reduce pressure on your sciatic nerve. Improving your core strength and addressing muscular weaknesses and imbalances can significantly reduce your discomfort.

Spinal injections

Dr. Jassal might recommend a spinal injection such as an epidural steroid injection or a nerve block in more severe cases. Steroid injections provide powerful anti-inflammatory medication to your spine, while nerve blocks stop pain signals from traveling to your brain. 

Spinal cord stimulator

When conservative treatments aren’t effective, and your sciatica severely disrupts your health and quality of life, you might be a candidate for a spinal cord stimulator. A spinal cord stimulator uses a mild electrical current to disrupt pain signals from traveling along your spine to your brain. 

Sciatica may be common, but you don’t have to live with it. Call our office or schedule a consultation online today to learn more about your treatment options and receive personalized pain management services.

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