Sciatica pain is characterized as dull, sharp, stabbing, or burning pain (depending on the severity of the irritation) that radiates from your lower back down to your legs. It usually affects one side of the body and gets aggravated by sitting for long periods of time. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, and irritation can really be debilitating.
The reason for sciatica pain and other symptoms is an irritated sciatic nerve that may be caused by herniated spinal discs or bone spurs forming on the vertebra. Other issues that may irritate the sciatic nerve include pregnancy, diabetes, and obesity. Successful management of the condition requires the underlying cause be addressed by an orthopedic specialist.
Let’s talk about the available treatments for sciatica pain.
For mild sciatica in the early stages in which there is little to no weakness or numbness and no bowel and bladder changes, nonsurgical treatments are often enough to bring relief. The goal of nonsurgical treatment is to relieve pain and restore function and mobility. Examples of such treatments include pain medications, anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, and more.
Physical therapy exercises for sciatica include extension and flexion back exercises, strengthening exercises, and functional retraining. Your physical therapist may also apply joint mobilization and manipulation to promote pain relief and restore normal movement. Depending on your needs, your physical therapist may apply other techniques for maximum pain relief.
Many treatment plans for sciatica pain relief include the use of steroid injections, in which a doctor injects corticosteroid medication into the lumbar region of the spine. Epidural injections are the most widely used to relieve sciatica pain by reducing inflammation around the sciatic nerve. Patients can get pain relief that lasts for months using this treatment method. This is rarely a standalone treatment, however, and is most often combined with physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and more for best results.
For patients with severe or chronic sciatica that causes bowel and bladder control issues, doctors often recommend surgery, especially if conservative treatment methods do not provide relief.
The surgical procedure used to treat sciatica is called a microdiscectomy, which can be performed as minimally-invasive surgery. During the procedure, a surgeon removes a part of the herniated disc that is irritating the sciatic nerve. Almost 90 percent of patients’ sciatica experience relief from the condition after a microdiscectomy.
Get Relief From Sciatica Pain in Farmington Hills, Michigan
The team of experts at Tri County Orthopedics are experts in their field and have years of experience diagnosing and treating sciatica pain. We develop a personalized treatment plan for every patient that includes advanced pain management techniques, physical therapy, and much more.
If you are suffering from an orthopedic issue or injury, come in for a visit to get a diagnosis and treatment plan in place. To schedule a consultation, give us call at (248) 474-5575 or request an appointment online. Our friendly team looks forward to helping you find relief.