How We Can Treat the Nagging Pain of Your Sciatica

Up to 40% of Americans live with sciatica, a collection of painful and disruptive symptoms including shooting pain, numbness, and muscle weakness in one or both legs, as well as lower back pain. While sciatica is common, the condition is often misunderstood, which prevents patients like you from getting the treatment you need to lead an active and pain-free life. 

Here at Spine & Pain Institute of Florida in Lakeland, Florida, our pain-management specialist, Dr. Navdeep Jassal, offers you a diagnosis and treatment for sciatica and the conditions that cause it.

A thorough discussion and exam are critical for helping Dr. Jassal understand your symptoms and how they affect your life. Based on his findings, he creates a customized treatment program to alleviate your pain and address the root cause. 

Your treatment plan for sciatica could include one or a combination of the following treatments. 

Epidural steroid injections

Epidural steroid injections deliver a dose of corticosteroids and local anesthetics directly into the epidural space of your spine. The local anesthetic provides almost immediate pain relief that lasts long enough for the anti-inflammatory powers of the corticosteroid to take effect. 

While an epidural steroid injection doesn’t provide permanent sciatica pain relief, it can lessen your pain while you have other treatments. Also, you can have multiple injections as needed to maintain the effects. 

Sympathetic nerve blocks

A sympathetic nerve block is another type of spine injection that can provide lasting relief of neuropathic pain like sciatica. You have multiple ganglions — bundles of nerves — in your spine where your sympathetic nerves branch out into your body. Dr. Jassal injects medication, such as a steroid, into the affected ganglion to reduce nerve pain signals. 

Spinal cord stimulators

If medication, injections, and other treatments haven’t provided sufficient relief of your sciatica symptoms, Dr. Jassal might recommend a spinal cord stimulator. This implantable device sends a mild electrical current into your spine, which disrupts pain signals. A spinal cord stimulator isn’t a first-line approach to pain management but is often effective in hard-to-treat cases. 

Other surgical procedures

If your sciatica is due to spinal stenosis, Dr. Jassal also offers the mild® procedure and the Vertiflex™ procedure to create more space in your spinal column and reduce nerve compression. Both procedures are minimally invasive operations that require little-to-no downtime for recovery. 

Physical therapy

Dr. Jassal often combines physical therapy (PT) with other sciatica treatments. For example, epidural injections and sympathetic nerve blocks can relieve your pain, which allows you to get the most out of physical therapy. 

Depending on your needs, you might work on improving flexibility in your lower back, hips, and buttocks with stretches like pigeon stretch variations, sitting spinal stretches, and standing hamstring stretches. 

Your physical therapist might also recommend core-strengthening exercises such as lower back extension and flexion movements to improve support and stability around your spine. PT is tailored to address your specific needs and can help heal the underlying condition causing your sciatica. 

You don’t have to live with sciatica. Call our office or schedule a consultation online today for an expert evaluation and personalized treatment plan to help you get back to a pain-free, active life. 

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