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Sciatic Nerve Pain

Getting Relief From Sciatic Nerve Pain

According to Harvard Medical School, roughly 40 percent of people in the United States experience sciatic nerve pain at some point in their lives.  Of all the different pain syndromes, sciatica is one of the most common.

At Key Clinics, Dr. Joel D. Siegal and his skilled medical team provide relief to people suffering from sciatic nerve pain. If you have this condition and feel as though it has started to consume your life, we can help.

What Is Sciatic Nerve Pain?

An irritated sciatic nerve can cause leg pain and neurologic dysfunction. Within the human body, the sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve that runs from each side of the lower spine into the buttocks, thighs, calves and feet.  The formal medical term for sciatica is lumbar radiculopathy.

The distribution and severity of pain and neurologic compromise depend on the extent and location of nerve compression.  A herniated disc in the lower part of the lumbar spine, spinal stenosis, arthritis, osteophytes, spondylolisthesis and lumbar degenerative disc disease all can cause sciatic nerve compression or sciatica.  Risk factors for developing this condition include older age, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, obesity, diabetes and chronic or acute back pain.  

Dr. Siegal at Key Clinics can determine the cause and best treatment for your sciatica.

Symptoms of Sciatic Nerve Pain

Dr. Siegal identifies where in the lower back the injured or irritated nerve is located.  For that, he looks for specific signs and symptoms, including:

  • L4 Level – Sciatica due to L4 irritation can cause pain/numbness/weakness in the front of the thigh, inside of the calf and ankle.  Patients may notice difficulty lifting their leg or extending their knee. Walking can be problematic due to an inability to support their own weight.
  • L5 Level – Sciatic nerve pain and numbness related to L5 usually travels from the buttocks to the front of the thigh into the shin and top portion of the foot between the big and second toes.  Weakness lifting the ankle and the big toe is common. In severe cases, patients can develop a “drop foot.”
  • S1 Level – Sciatica involving S1 can cause pain and numbness down the back or outside of the leg to the side and bottom of the foot.  In addition, people may notice weakness pushing off when walking or standing on their toes.

Treating Sciatic Nerve Pain

For Dr. Siegal to effectively treat your sciatica, he must determine its severity, cause and spine region involved.  Because every patient is unique, a full diagnostic workup and evaluation are imperative to determine the best treatment plan.  Some people may do well with conservative treatment if they have slight tingling, numbness, discomfort and weakness. Other patients may experience a severe lancinating pain down the leg combined with an electric shock sensation, numbness and profound weakness.  For those individuals, sciatica becomes debilitating, intolerable and may warrant a surgical intervention.  

Sciatic nerve pain resolves 90% of the time within 6-8 weeks without surgery.  If you have this condition, there is no reason to suffer in silence. If home remedies such as cold press, pain medications, rest, and exercise do not relieve your pain, contact Key Clinics.

Dr. Siegal can offer injections and formal physical therapy to help you through this initial phase.  If you do not get the relief needed, surgery may be the safest and most effective option. Since Dr. Siegal is a board-certified neurosurgeon, you will be in excellent hands. Call us or schedule an appointment online today.