Sciatica

Spine & Sports Medical Group

Spine & Sports Medicine & Regenerative Medicine located in Campbell, CA

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body, and if it’s compressed it can cause sciatic pain that can be so intense, you aren’t able to move. At Spine & Sports Medical Group, the team of dedicated physiatrists has helped countless patients in Campbell, California, reduce their pain and address the underlying cause of their condition. If you suffer from sciatica, you don’t need to suffer any longer — call the office or use the online scheduling tool to book your appointment and start treatment today.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a term that refers to the symptoms of pain or numbness that results from a pinched or compressed sciatic nerve. 

The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that runs from your lower back, down your buttocks, and through each leg. When this nerve becomes compressed, you experience pain in your lower back, hips, and legs. 

What causes a compressed sciatic nerve?

Sciatic pain happens when your sciatic nerve becomes compressed, often due to a herniated disk, spinal degenerative disease, or even prolonged bad posture. 

In rare cases, your sciatic nerve can become compressed by a tumor or because of damage due to chronic diseases like diabetes.

Sciatic pain is most common in patients who sit for prolonged periods or have jobs that require them to twist their backs or carry heavy loads. Health conditions like diabetes, which increases your risk of nerve damage, or obesity, which increases stress on your spine from excessive body weight, can also increase your chances of developing a compressed sciatic nerve.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

Sciatic pain is a distinctive pain that radiates from your lower back to your buttocks and down the backs of your legs. This localized pain can vary in intensity from a minor lower back ache to an unbearable pain that shoots down your leg and leaves you completely immobile. The pain may feel like a burning or tingling sensation that makes your legs weak or completely numb. Patients with severe pain may also experience a loss of bladder or bowel function.

Most patients make a full recovery from a compressed sciatic nerve with the right treatment. However, an untreated sciatic condition can result in permanent nerve damage, so it’s important to get medical treatment at Spine & Sports Medical Group as soon as you start to notice symptoms. 

How do you treat sciatica?

A team member at Spine & Sports Medical Group performs a physical exam to assess the level of your discomfort and determine the cause of your sciatic pain. They may order additional imaging tests like an X-ray or MRI scan to confirm their diagnosis or determine if there’s another underlying cause of your sciatic pain.

Once you receive your diagnosis, the team works to reduce your pain and increase your mobility. The practice offers trigger point injection therapy to deliver a targeted dose of corticosteroids or other muscle relaxant medicine to reduce inflammation and pain. Injections for pain management are combined with physical therapy, which uses a series of gentle movements to reduce pressure on your nerve and any resulting pain.

For severe cases that don’t respond to less invasive therapies, the team may recommend surgery to decompress the sciatic nerve, or to remove fragments of a herniated disk or bone spur.

To learn more about the comprehensive treatment options for a compressed sciatic nerve, call the office or use the online booking tool to make an appointment today.