Back pain is one of the primary reasons for doctor visits, and on occasion, that pain can radiate to other parts of the body. Sciatica, a condition in which the sciatic nerve experiences pressure from a nearby structure, can cause substantial discomfort in the lower body region. However, the orthopedic staff at Tulane Medical Center can address sciatica pain with treatment measures matched to each patient’s specific medical needs. Continue reading to find out more.
Why Does Sciatica Occur?
Any bodily structure that pushes on the sciatic nerve can cause sciatica. Because the intervertebral discs are in close proximity to the sciatic nerve, disc herniation is a common cause of sciatica. Herniation, which forces the interior of an intervertebral disc to breach the outer membrane, can occur from any number of circumstances. Abrupt pressure on the disc can produce a rupture, as can repetitive motion that gradually degrades the structure.
What Are the Signs of Sciatica?
When the sciatic nerve experiences pressure, the resulting pain can substantially impact the sufferer’s quality of life. Depending on the way in which the nerve is affected, some people with sciatica may notice a considerable decrease in leg function. In certain cases, pressure on the nerve can result in numbness. Other sufferers may experience shooting pain that radiates throughout the leg. Symptoms may last for weeks or months.
How Can a Back Pain Expert Treat Sciatica?
The key to treating pain from sciatica is to know what is causing the condition. An orthopedic expert can recommend imaging services to see what is pressing upon the nerve and how best to remedy it. Mild cases of sciatica may require only medication or physical therapy to ease pain and loss of sensation. When a significant disc herniation or other problem causes ongoing and increasingly painful symptoms, a doctor might advise surgery to correct the underlying condition and eliminate nerve pressure.
Are you suffering from sciatica? If you have tingling sensations or throbbing pain in your lower extremities, call Tulane Medical Center at (504) 988-5263 to speak with an associate about your condition. The staff at our New Orleans medical center can help you determine the best course of action to address your pain and discomfort.