Up to 40% of Americans experience sciatica pain and other related symptoms at some point during their lives. Douglas Maxey, MD, a board-certified anesthesiologist and pain management physician, provides expert diagnosis and sciatica treatment at Allay Spine and Pain Management in McKinney, Texas. Don’t ignore your pain. Call the practice or make an appointment online today for personalized treatment to relieve your sciatica pain.
Sciatica is a painful condition that develops when something irritates or compresses your sciatic nerve. Your sciatic nerve begins in your lower back and extends into your buttocks, where it splits to continue down each of your legs.
Many people use the term sciatica as a synonym for lower back pain. However, sciatica includes several other symptoms that affect your lower back, buttock, hip, or leg, such as:
Depending on the location of the nerve irritation, you might have symptoms on one or both sides of your body. Your pain and other symptoms might be worse when you sit, bend forward, or transition between sitting and standing.
A herniated disc in your lumbar spine is the most common cause of sciatica. Spinal discs have a rubbery outer shell that surrounds a gel-like interior. When the interior bulges through a small tear or weak spot in the outer shell, you have a herniated disc.
There’s very little free space in your spinal column, so a herniated disc has a high chance of pressing on a nerve. Other potential causes of sciatica include bone spurs, spinal stenosis, and sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
Dr. Maxey can often diagnose sciatica with a description of your symptoms. However, he confirms your diagnosis with a physical exam and testing. For example, Dr. Maxey might ask you to perform specific stretches that increase the compression of your sciatic nerve.
The doctor might also order X-rays, an MRI, or electromyography studies to confirm your condition and locate the part of your sciatic nerve that’s compressed or irritated.
Following your consultation and exam, Dr. Maxey creates a customized treatment plan to relieve the compression of your sciatic nerve and eliminate your symptoms. In many cases, noninvasive treatments, such as medications and physical therapy, can alleviate your pain.
However, if a conservative approach doesn’t help with your pain, Dr. Maxey might suggest more advanced treatments, including:
If you think you might have sciatica, call Allay Spine and Pain Management or make an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and innovative, personalized treatment.