Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one or both sides of your body.
Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur (arthritis) on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg(s).
Although the pain associated with sciatica can be severe, most cases resolve with non-operative treatments in a few weeks with treatment that Dr. Rosenblatt can easily perform.
Pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg is the hallmark of sciatica. You might feel the discomfort almost anywhere along the nerve pathway, but it’s especially likely to follow a path from your low back to your buttock and the back of your thigh and calf.
The pain can vary widely, from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating pain. Sometimes it can feel like a jolt or electric shock. It can be worse when you cough or sneeze, and prolonged sitting or walking can aggravate symptoms. Some people also have numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot. You might have pain in one part of your leg and numbness in another part. You do not have to have low back pain to have sciatic pain.
Please call Dr. Rosenblatt when self-care measures fail to ease your symptoms or if your pain lasts longer than a week, is severe or becomes progressively worse. Get immediate medical care if:
• You have sudden, severe pain in your low back or leg and numbness or muscle weakness in your leg
• The pain follows a violent injury, such as a traffic accident
• You have trouble controlling your bowels or bladder
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched, usually by a herniated disk in your spine or by an overgrowth of bone (bone spur) on your vertebrae. More rarely, the nerve can be compressed other tissue or damaged by a disease such as diabetes. Shingles is another common cause that would require treatment.
During the physical exam, Dr. Rosenblatt will check your muscle strength and reflexes. For example, you may be asked to walk on your toes or heels, rise from a squatting position and, while lying on your back, lift your legs one at a time. Pain that results from sciatica will usually worsen during these activities.
Many people have herniated disks or bone spurs that will show up on X-rays and other imaging tests but have no symptoms. So doctors don’t typically order these tests unless your pain is severe, or it doesn’t improve within a few weeks.
• X-ray. An X-ray of your spine may reveal an overgrowth of bone (bone spur) that may be pressing on a nerve.
• MRI. This procedure uses a powerful magnet and radio waves to produce cross-sectional images of your back. An MRI produces detailed images of bone and soft tissues such as herniated disks. During the test, you lie on a table that moves into the MRI machine.
• CT Scan. Can also be used for a faster imaging result or when an MRI is not allowed.
After evaluation, Dr. Rosenblatt might recommend injection of a medication into the area around the involved nerve root(s). This can help reduce and or eliminate pain by suppressing inflammation around the irritated nerve. This can greatly improve the pain and discomfort from the multiple causes of sciatica and help improve an individuals overall function. There are several different types of nerve root treatments to consider based on the location and severity of the impingement of the nerve. Usually treatment takes no longer than 5-6 minutes and can provide immediate relief!
Dr. Rosenblatt explains, “This procedure is simple and helps people of all ages to help feel less pain and function at a higher level. It is great for neck and lumbar spine pain. It will also help to avoidunnecessary spine surgery.”
In Dr. Rosenblatt’s beautiful freestanding interventional pain management building in Delray Beach, FL, thousands of individuals have been able to benefit from this technique. Dr. Rosenblatt has been performing this procedure for more than 17 years with great success. Please look forward to more articles about Dr. Aaron Rosenblatt and the vast number of procedures he performs to help people with all types of pain. His main focus is to help individuals avoid surgery, eliminate pain medications and to ultimately feel much better on a daily basis and enjoy life!
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Delray Beach, FL 33446
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