Sciatica Q & A
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica isn’t a stand-alone medical diagnosis. Instead, it’s a symptom of another underlying medical condition.
Signs of sciatica include tingling, numbness, and weakness that originate in your lower back and travels down the back of each leg. Some of the lower back problems that can cause sciatica symptoms include:
- Herniated disk or degenerative disk disease: pressure on the nerve root
- Spondylolisthesis: out-of-line vertebrae narrow the opening
- Spinal stenosis: nerve pressure results from narrowing of the spinal canal
How is Sciatica diagnosed?
A sciatica diagnosis includes a review of your medical history and your symptoms, as well as a physical exam. A straight-leg-raise test, where you lie on your back with your legs straight and slowly raise each leg and until your pain begins, helps the specialists at The Nexus Pain Center pinpoint the nerves affected and determine if you have a problem with one of your disks.
You may also undergo other diagnostic tests including:
- X-rays: to rule out spine fractures
- Magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography: to create images of the structures of your back
- Electromyography: to examine electrical impulse travel
- Myelogram: to determine if a vertebra or disk is causing the pain
How is Sciatica treated?
Regardless of the cause of your sciatica, the specialists at The Nexus Pain Center use an interventionally driven approach. Therefore, rather than just using one course of action, be it prescribing medication or recommending physical therapy, all sources of treatment are used to eliminate pain in the fastest and most effective way possible.
The most common procedure used to alleviate the pain associated with sciatica is an epidural steroid injection to reduce inflammation. Because an epidural is an injection, it goes directly into the area of pain around your sciatic nerve.
The effects of an epidural tend to be temporary. However, it provides enough relief to allow you to utilize a physical therapy program.
Call or make an appointment online with the well-trained, board-certified specialists at The Nexus Pain Center in Columbus or LaGrange, Georgia, to decrease the pain associated with your sciatica.