When the sciatic nerve becomes occluded, it often becomes irritated and causes symptoms such as pain, numbness and tingling. The discomfort is most often felt in the lower back and down into the buttocks, legs and feet. While nerve compression can be caused by conditions including degenerative disc disease, herniated discs and spinal stenosis, there are fortunately a number of treatment options available to those experiencing sciatic nerve pain.
Today, The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration in Santa Monica, CA, presents a few ways to treat sciatic nerve pain.
People who have occasional flare-ups can sometimes find relief with medications. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be helpful, and doctors may prescribe narcotics for more severe cases. Oral steroidal preparations and epidural steroid injections may be effective if irritation is caused by swollen tissues in the spinal canal.
The exercises employed in physical therapy programs are designed to strengthen the spinal column in order to provide better support to the spine. Therapists will also show patients how to properly stretch muscles in target areas to keep them from over-contracting and squeezing the sciatic nerve.
Decompression therapy is performed by positioning the patient on a motorized table that is carefully adjusted in order to gently stretch the spine. The goal of this particular treatment is to create negative pressure in the spinal column and thereby allow bulging and herniated discs to retract and release the pinched nerve.
If an individual has undergone conservative treatment for a reasonable amount of time and is still living with sciatic nerve pain, the physician may opt for surgical intervention. A microdiscectomy may be recommended; a minimally invasive procedure that involves removing the portion of the vertebral disc that is pinching the nerve. When sciatica is caused by a narrowing of the spinal canal, a lumbar laminectomy may provide relief by removing the front part of the vertebra that is causing compression.
If you have been diagnosed with a degenerative spine condition or experience sciatic nerve pain and are interested in learning more about your treatment options, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration at 310-828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation. We are a premier Santa Monica spine surgery center with a mission to empower patients with the knowledge needed to make smart, confident decisions about how to treat their conditions.