Sciatica Is a Pain…In the Leg

Copy of Copy of Copy of iStock 1166298317 1 The pain caused by sciatica is a common reason patients come see Dr. Trujillo and our team at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic Associates. Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. It’s rare for sciatica to affect both sides, as the part of the nerve affected by the compression is usually only on one side of the body. 

Sciatica can cause debilitating pain, but the good news is that for most people they get better within 6 to 12 weeks. 

Dr. Trujillo helps our patients overcome the pain of sciatica. 

What causes sciatica? 

Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disc, bone spur on the spine, or narrowing of the spinal column (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This results in inflammation, pain, tingling, and often numbness down the affected leg served by the nerve. The term sciatica comes from the nerve that is being pinched, the sciatic nerve. 

What are the risk factors for sciatica? 

These conditions make it more likely that you may develop sciatica: 

  •     Age — Age-related changes in the spine (issues such as herniated discs and bone spurs) are the most common causes of sciatica.
  •     Obesity — Excess weight places more stress on the spine.
  •     Occupation — There is some thinking that jobs that require you to twist your back, carry heavy loads, or drive a vehicle for long periods of time contribute to sciatica.
  •     Prolonged sitting — If you have a sedentary lifestyle or have to sit for prolonged periods of time, you’re more likely to develop sciatica.
  •     Diabetes — Because diabetes affects the way your body uses blood sugar, this increases your risk for nerve damage.

Will Sciatica Go Away on Its Own? 

Whether your sciatica will resolve on its own is dependent on how bad the disc herniation or spinal compression is. It also depends on lifestyle issues. For instance, if you have a job that involves a good deal of heavy lifting, or prolonged sitting without breaks, both of those activities can damage discs. 

The key is to not take it easy. Movement is important to start the healing, coupled with ice/heat and anti-inflammatory medications. If you start exercising, particularly stretching your hamstrings and strengthening your core, there’s a good chance your sciatica will get better in a few weeks. 

Do you have pain in your buttocks and down a leg? You may have the nerve compression of sciatica. Please give us a call at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic Associates, (855) 768-4968, to schedule an appointment so we can help you get past the pain.

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