Radiculopathy sciatica describes pain that shoots from your back down your hip, buttock, and leg. At leading interventional pain management and orthopedic surgery practice Medicus Spine & Joint, the group of sciatica specialists offers diagnosis, treatment, and pain relief in five offices in Brunswick, Georgia; Mount Pleasant and Bluffton, South Carolina; and Gainesville and Jacksonville, Florida. Schedule your appointment online or call the office nearest you for help now.
Lumbar radiculopathy, commonly called sciatica, is a group of symptoms rather than a condition in its own right. It describes pain that starts in the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body.
Sciatica pain travels the path of the sciatic nerve, starting in the lower back. The sciatic nerve branches and goes down each of your legs, so the pain shoots through your hip and one buttock, then down one leg. Sciatica pain can travel to below the knee or even down to your heel in some cases.
The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disk in the lower part of the spine. A herniated disk exudes some of its gel-like filling into the spinal canal, where it often pushes against your sciatic nerve and starts your symptoms. Herniated disks are often related to aging.
Lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), bone spurs, and, rarely, tumors can also lead to sciatica pain.
Communication is important for an accurate sciatica diagnosis. You’ll discuss the particulars of your pain, telling your providers when it happens, how it feels, and what type of pattern it follows.
Medicus Spine & Joint providers ask you to do specific exercises, like walking on your heels and toes and lying on your back, and raising your legs individually to help pinpoint the source of your pain.
You could also need imaging tests, like an MRI scan or nerve conduction studies, to isolate the cause of your pain.
Medicus Spine & Joint prioritizes a holistic approach using integrative approaches such as:
All of these approaches promote natural healing and often prove effective against sciatica pain.
If pain continues, you may need an electromyography (EMG) procedure to pinpoint the area of sciatic nerve compression. Severe sciatica symptoms go beyond the pain to include problems like incontinence.
If you experience those issues, your surgeons may recommend a minimally invasive microdiscectomy to remove the part of the disk placing pressure on your sciatica nerve. A microdiscectomy leaves only a tiny scar, has a low risk of infection, and requires no opioid medications.
To learn how you can get lasting sciatica relief, call Medicus Spine & Joint or book your appointment online now.