It’s thought that up to 10% of back pain sufferers have sciatica, a condition caused when pressure or other conditions irritate the sciatic nerve. This pain can radiate along your hips and legs, disrupting your ability to move or even relax comfortably. At the office of Steven C. Dennis, MD, in Newport Beach, California, Dr. Dennis offers fast, effective diagnosis and treatment for this common source of pain. If you think you suffer from sciatica, call Dr. Dennis to schedule your consultation or book it online.
Sciatica is a type of pain that travels along the path of your sciatic nerve. This nerve branches from your lower back all the way down to each leg. This type of pain typically occurs when a medical condition compresses or irritates your sciatic nerve.
Sciatica often affects people who are already suffering from back pain or other back issues. The most common culprit for sciatica is a herniated disc, which can bulge out and compress the sciatic nerve. Bone spurs can also irritate the nerve, leading to sciatic pain.
There are a few factors that can leave you at greater risk for developing sciatica:
Excess weight can increase the weight you place on your spine.
Jobs that require frequent heavy lifting or twisting of your spine may increase your risk for sciatica.
Sitting for long stretches without a break can put greater pressure on your back and spine.
As you grow older, your spine naturally degenerates, leaving you more susceptible to conditions that cause sciatica.
The nerve damage associated with diabetes can also affect your sciatic nerve.
While the severity and type of pain sciatica sufferers experience can vary, the path the pain takes is unmistakable as it travels from your lower back, down your buttocks, and to your leg. This pain can feel like an ache, sharp pain, a burning sensation, or even an electric shock.
In some cases, you might also experience numbness or muscle weakness in the side affected by sciatica. In time, you might lose feeling in your leg or even suffer from a loss of bowel or bladder function.
How Dr. Dennis treats your sciatica depends on the severity of your pain and the underlying cause. For less severe cases of sciatica, Dr. Dennis might recommend some pain relievers or muscle relaxants to help manage your acute pain.
Exercise or physical therapy are also great options for treating sciatica, as they can help correct your posture and strengthen the muscles that help support your back.
If these treatment options are not providing results, Dr. Dennis might recommend surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve. This is most commonly necessary when a herniated disc or bone spur causes your sciatica.
Is your sciatica making the simplest of physical activities a struggle? The expert care of Dr. Dennis can help. Call Steven C. Dennis, MD, in Newport Beach, California, to schedule your consultation or book online.