What is sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is a nerve that runs from the lower back through each of the hips and down the legs. Sciatica is a painful condition that develops when the sciatic nerve becomes compressed or irritated. While some cases of sciatica will resolve on their own, others will require professional treatment.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

The most common symptom of sciatica is pain that radiates from the lower back into the hip and down the back of the patient’s leg. Some patients experience this pain as a constant ache, while others notice a sharp, burning sensation. Patients may also notice numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness in the affected leg. Sciatica usually affects only one side of the body at a time, and it may worsen when the patient coughs or sneezes.

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched or irritated. The most common cause of this irritation is a bone spur on the vertebrae or a herniated disc in the spine. In very rare cases, sciatica may occur as a complication of diabetes or because of a spinal tumor.

How does Innovative Medical Center treat sciatica?

In most cases, the doctors at Innovative Medical Center will be able to diagnose sciatica based on the patient’s symptoms and the results of a physical exam. The doctor may also order x-rays to determine the cause of the pain. Once the doctors has confirmed the diagnosis of sciatica, they will create a comprehensive treatment plan designed to address the patient’s pain and reduce the chances of recurrence. Some of the treatments that may be incorporated into this plan include:
• Trigger point injections – Trigger point injections contain special medications that alleviate pain in a specific area. Doctors can use these injections to reduce pain from sciatica.
• Corrective exercises – In some cases, a patient’s poor posture or other bad habits contribute to sciatica. Corrective exercises strengthen weak areas and teach patients how to protect the low back from injury.
• Massage therapy – Massage therapy loosens the tense muscles in the back that may be aggravating the patient’s condition. This treatment also encourages nutrient-rich blood to flow to the area, which promotes healing.
• Spinal manipulation – Spinal manipulation works by improving the alignment of the vertebrae, which may alleviate some of the pain associated with sciatica.