If you’ve ever dealt with a bad back, then you know how debilitating it can be — even the simplest movements are plagued with searing pain.
That’s where we come in.
Here, Dr. Asher Goldstein, our expert pain management specialist at Zephyr Medical, shares exactly what you need to know about where sciatica comes from, how we treat it, and how you can work toward preventing it.
Sciatica is a pain condition that occurs when your sciatic nerve becomes irritated. The sciatic nerve is one of the largest in your body. It begins in your lower back and branches down through each of your hips, buttocks, and legs.
Sciatica pain is a symptom of an underlying problem, typically a herniated disc, a bone spur, or a narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis). Some other factors that can contribute to sciatica include:
The pressure and irritation on your nerve trigger pain that radiates along the pathway of your nerve.
For some, sciatica is a mild ache; for others, a sharp, burning sensation. The pain can also be worse when you do something like sneeze or cough. Numbness, tingling, and/or muscle weakness can also accompany sciatica.
Mild sciatica, though frustrating, isn’t usually a cause for concern. However, it’s important that you seek immediate medical attention if you have sudden, severe pain, pain that follows a traumatic injury, or trouble controlling your bowels or bladder. All are signs of significant nerve damage that needs prompt treatment.
Sciatica can affect nearly every facet of your daily life, but the good news is that there are many ways to find genuine, lasting relief. Here’s a closer look at some of your options.
Often, sciatica can resolve itself when you give your body time to heal from whatever’s causing it. Many people find that their symptoms improve over a few weeks with at-home remedies, including:
We may also recommend physical therapy to develop a stretching and exercise routine that specifically targets the underlying causes of sciatica.
Only in the most severe cases do we recommend surgery to address sciatica. Depending on your unique situation, you may require a diskectomy or a laminectomy. Both procedures involve removing tissue pressing on your sciatic nerve.
Whether you’re simply gathering information or if you had a recent bout of sciatica, we know that avoiding sciatica pain is a top priority. Though there’s no guarantee that you’ll never experience sciatica again, there are a few things you can do to significantly reduce your risk, such as:
As you can see, the name of the sciatica-prevention game is protecting your spine and strengthening your back. If you commit to these healthy habits, your chances of developing painful conditions like sciatica go down tremendously.
If you’d like more information, or if you suspect you have sciatica, don’t hesitate to request an appointment online or over the phone at our Brooklyn, New York, office today.