Tired Of Back Pain? Sciatica Treatments And Diagnosis

Feb 27, 2023

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Are you tired of dealing with that nagging pain in your lower back and legs? You may be experiencing sciatica, and it's time to take control of your pain and find relief

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down the back of each leg. The pain can vary in intensity and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as tingling, numbness, or weakness in the affected leg. 

Common causes of sciatica include herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), and spinal tumors. Sciatica is usually caused by a problem with the lower back, such as a herniated disc, but it can also be caused by a problem in the hip or pelvis. The pain of sciatica can be severe and debilitating.

If you are experiencing symptoms of sciatica, it is important to seek medical attention. Your doctor will be able to determine the underlying cause of your condition and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. At Garden State Pain and Orthopedics, our team of experts will work with you to find a treatment plan that works for you.

What treatments are available for those experiencing sciatica? 

There are a variety of different treatments for sciatica. Each treatment plan at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics is personalized to each individual patient. Depending on your individual history, your treatment plan for Sciatica may include:

Physical therapy may involve exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the back and reduce inflammation

Medications that may be used to treat sciatica include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, and antidepressants.

In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. Surgery can be used to remove any bone spurs or herniated discs that are putting pressure on the sciatic

Injections can also be used as a treatment for sciatica. Some common types of injections used to treat sciatica include:

    • Steroid injections can help reduce inflammation and pain caused by sciatica.
    • Epidural injections are often used to treat herniated discs, which can be a cause of sciatica. They can help reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
    • Facet joint injections are used to target pain caused by inflammation in the small joints in the spine.
    • Nerve blocks can be used to target specific nerves that are causing pain.

It's important to note that injections are not suitable for everyone and that some people may not respond well to them. They are also not a long-term solution, but rather a way to help manage symptoms while more comprehensive therapies are implemented. It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment plan for sciatica.

How do we diagnose sciatica? 

Sciatica is typically diagnosed through a physical examination and review of your medical history. During an examination we will check for signs of nerve root compression, such as muscle weakness or a loss of sensation in certain areas of the leg or foot. We may also ask you to perform certain movements or stretches to help assess the cause and location of the pain.

Imaging tests such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan may also be ordered to help diagnose the underlying cause of sciatica and to rule out other possible conditions. An X-ray can provide information about structure of the spine, while an MRI or CT scan can provide detailed images of the soft tissue (such as discs, nerves, and ligaments) that may be causing the pain.

In some cases, a diagnostic nerve block may be performed to confirm the diagnosis and identify the specific nerve that is being compressed.

It's important to note that, while these tests can be helpful in identifying the underlying cause of sciatica, they are not always necessary. In some cases, we may be able to make a diagnosis based on the patient's symptoms and physical examination alone.

At Garden State Pain and Orthopedics we focus on providing personalized treatments plans that tailor to patients needs. If you or a loved one is experiencing sciatica, or any related pain, we are happy to help. To schedule an initial consultation or a follow up visit please call, or select the “Book now” button above. To read more about our treatments or providers visit our services or providers pages.