If you’re one of the nearly 40% of Americans who suffer from sciatic nerve pain, or sciatica, it’s important to know that your pain has a cause and that it’s very treatable with help from the interventional pain management team at Athens Spine Center in Athens, Georgia. The skilled team of board-certified pain management physicians and anesthesiologists is here to help you overcome the pain. Book an appointment by calling the office today.
Sciatica means you have pain that’s caused by a problem with your sciatic nerve, the longest human nerve. Your sciatic nerve covers your lower back and travels down your hips, buttocks, and legs, and to your calf muscle. In most cases, sciatica happens on one side of the body.
Sciatica pain is often quite sharp, but it can also cause a dull persistent ache. Sciatica can also create shock-like sensations, tingling, and numbness. Some people living with sciatica have hip, leg, or foot weakness as well.
A herniated disc, the most common cause of sciatica, is a tear in the thick outer wall of one of your vertebral discs. This tear allows the filling, a gel-like material, to push out and pressure your nerve root to cause sciatica symptoms. Some other possible causes of sciatica can include bone spurs in your lumbar spine, spinal stenosis, and tumors.
Nerve root injury to any of your lumbar vertebrae or your upper sacrum can cause nerve compression that causes sciatica symptoms. The symptoms can vary according to where the damage is, for example at the L1 level, you can have pain around the calf and outer foot areas, but at the L5 level, you can have pain in your outer leg and the top of your foot.
The Athens Spine Center team carefully evaluates your sciatica pain to determine its underlying cause so they can optimize a pain relief plan for you.
Sciatica treatment varies by causative condition, but Athens Spine Center offers a variety of interventional pain management modalities to help. An epidural steroid injection, a steroid injection in the nerve root area, can effectively relieve sciatica inflammation and pain. A sciatic nerve block is an injection that works by essentially turning your pain signaling off in the sciatic nerve.
If injections or other treatments aren't successful, another option could be spinal cord stimulation, in which implanted electrodes generate impulses that replace sciatica pain with a tingling sensation (or no sensation, depending on the type). Before spinal cord stimulation, you need to complete a spinal cord stimulator trial for a week to make sure the treatment works for your sciatica.
End your sciatica induced misery with help from highly-qualified interventional pain management experts. Call Athens Spine Center to schedule an appointment today.