Sciatica is a frequent cause of back and leg pain. If you suffer from sciatica that is unresolved with traditional methods such as stretching or over the counter medications, Robert Odell, MD, and the team at Associated Pain Specialists in Knoxville and Johnson City, Tennessee, have the knowledge and the skills to provide the best treatment possible to hopefully resolve your sciatica. For a personalized care plan that offers relief from sciatica, call Associated Pain Specialists today.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body that branches from your lower back and runs through your hips, buttocks, and down each leg and foot. When pressure is applied to this nerve, it becomes a painful condition known as sciatica.

This pressure can come from an injury of the nearby muscle. If this muscle becomes inflamed or spastic from a fall or sports injury, it compressed the sciatic nerve and causes pain.

However, the most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc that occurs at the lowest region of your lumbar spine. A herniated disc is when the disc that lays between your vertebrae, squeezes through a spot in the outer shell and starts pressing on the sciatic nerve.

What are the signs and symptoms of sciatica?

Typical sciatica symptoms include:

  • Pain in the back of the leg
  • Worse with prolonged sitting
  • Weakness in the leg
  • Pins and needles
  • Numbness
  • Burning sensation or tingling down the leg
  • Lower back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Usually, only one side is affected
  • Shooting pain

Your provider at Associated Pain Specialists will appropriately evaluate you to determine if sciatica is the cause of your pain. Call Associated Pain Specialists today to set up an appointment.

How is sciatica treated?

In some cases, sciatica gets better without treatment, providing you rest and undertake gentle stretches. Muscle relaxants, massage, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medication can also help.

It can sometimes be challenging to exercise when you’re affected by sciatica pain, so you may need to take stronger medication to enable you to undergo your physical therapy. Your provider may also determine that a sciatic nerve block is an appropriate option for pain relief.

A sciatic nerve block (SNB) injection contains steroids and anesthetic medication that blocks the pain signal sent to your brain by the affected sciatic nerve root. You should experience a degree of pain relief immediately after your SNB injection thanks to the anesthetic medication.

The steroid can take 2-5 days to take effect, with most patients benefiting from the relief of their symptoms for between four and six weeks after the procedure.

Find out more about overcoming sciatica by calling Associated Pain Specialists today.

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