Around 40% of Americans will experience sciatica at some point in their lives. At Diagnostic Pain & Treatment Center in Tomball and The Woodlands, Texas, Raka Gohel, MD, a double board-certified pain management expert, offers effective and customized pain management programs to alleviate your sciatica. Call Diagnostic Pain & Treatment Center or schedule a consultation online today.
Almost everyone suffers from lower back pain from time to time, but if you have chronic lower back pain that shoots down one or both of your buttocks and legs, you may have sciatica. Sciatica is the name for the pain, numbness, and weakness caused by compression and irritation of your sciatic nerve in your lumbar spine.
Your sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body, beginning in your lower back and splitting to extend through your buttocks and legs, ending just below your knees. It controls many of the muscles in your lower legs and the sensation in the skin of your lower legs and feet.
In most cases, sciatica is due to a herniated disc in your lumbar spine. Your spinal discs are rubbery pads that cushion your vertebrae and absorb pressure when you move.
Each disc consists of a rubbery outer shell and a soft gel-like interior. Age-related deterioration and traumatic injury can rupture the outer shell, which allows the interior to bulge out.
There’s very little space in your spine, so even a small bulge can compress and irritate the nerves that run through your spine, causing pain, numbness, and weakness.
Other causes of sciatica include:
Your risk of sciatica increases as you age or if you’re overweight. You may also increase your chances of developing sciatica if you have a profession that requires heavy lifting, or if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, often sitting or standing in the same position for extended periods of time.
Dr. Gohel provides customized treatment plans to alleviate your sciatica. She begins treatment with a comprehensive physical exam to assess the extent of your pain and other symptoms as well as its impact on your mobility.
While Dr. Gohel creates a customized pain management program to address your specific needs, she often combines several therapies for a multidisciplinary approach. For example, your treatment plan may include:
In some cases, when conservative treatments haven’t relieved your pain, Dr. Gohel may recommend surgery to repair your spine. For example, you may benefit from a lumbar laminectomy to widen your spinal cord and reduce pressure on your nerves, or a discectomy to remove your herniated disc. If you need surgery, Dr. Gohel also offers pain management services to reduce your post-operative discomfort.
Call or schedule a consultation online today to learn about your treatment options for sciatica.