As many as 40% of American adults will develop sciatica pain at some point in their lives. When sciatica-related pain begins to limit what you can do, schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Vascular and Interventional Associates. The Board Certified Vein and Vascular Specialists serving the areas of Crestview Hills, KY, Northern Kentucky, and Cincinnati, OH understand the limitations caused by pain related to chronic sciatica and offers customized treatments, including targeted epidural steroid injections, to provide you with long-term pain relief. Schedule a consultation with the team today using the online booking system or by calling the office nearest you.
Sciatica Q & A
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a chronic condition that affects your sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back down into your buttocks and legs. This painful condition develops when an injury or underlying medical condition causes structures in your lower back to press on the sciatic nerve.
Issues that can put persistent pressure on your sciatic nerve include:
- Bone spur
- Herniated disc
- Chronic inflammation
As you get older, spinal stenosis may result in sciatica-related pain. Spinal stenosis is a condition where your spinal canal becomes narrow due to age-related changes or thickening of the ligaments in your lower back.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
The hallmark symptom of sciatica is the electric jolt-like pain you feel when you move a certain way. This pain can affect your lower back and radiate down into your hips and legs.
Other common symptoms of sciatica include:
Severe pain may develop when you make unexpected, sudden movements, such as a cough or sneeze.
How is sciatica diagnosed?
Because of the specific type of pain sciatica causes, the team may diagnose sciatica based on your symptoms. To rule out other conditions that may cause this type of pain, they may order diagnostic imaging tests, like X-rays or an MRI, to check for other abnormalities in your lumbar or lower spine.
To assess the severity of your sciatica pain and your range of motion in your lower back, your physician may ask you to perform certain movements during a physical exam.
Once your doctor confirms sciatica, they will create a treatment plan to manage your pain and improve the overall health of your lumbar spine.
How is sciatica treated?
Your Vascular and Interventional Associates doctor develops treatments based on the severity of your symptoms, along with your overall health. Physical therapy can help you grow stronger and also improve your posture. These two changes are vital to relieving sciatica pain.
If you’re overweight, getting to and maintaining a healthy weight can significantly reduce your sciatica pain. Your weight loss journey can begin with short walks to build up to more extended periods of activity.
Medications can also help control sciatica pain. These medications include pain relievers like NSAIDs, antidepressants, or anti-seizure medications. Therapy with drugs generally comes with side effects, which is why other approaches should be considered first.
Epidural steroid injections are another treatment option that works by reducing inflammation. These shots are administered directly into the nerve roots to deliver immediate relief.
Many minimally invasive treatment options can combat sciatica pain. However, if these treatments, along with lifestyle modifications, do not yield the desired results, you and your doctor may consider surgery to remove structures that are placing pressure on your sciatic nerve.
When you’re ready to explore these and other treatments, book your one-on-one consultation at the nearest office today.
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