Mention sciatica to anyone who has experienced its searing pain and they may cringe. This condition occurs when one or both of the sciatic nerves have been compressed or damaged. The sciatic nerves travel from the lower spine down under the buttocks muscle and into the legs. Due to the situation of these nerves, compression or damage can lead to symptoms such as muscle weakness, pain, or numbness in the low back, hips, or legs – or all three. If you’ve ever had sciatica, or you have it now, you may have realized that this condition can be resistant to treatment. Here, we take a look at how to address stubborn sciatica pain.
The reason why sciatica may be difficult to treat is that several factors contribute to this pain. To get relief, it is necessary to:
- Accurately identify the problem. Diagnosing back pain is not a job for the internet. It is a job for a trained physician who is very familiar with the various back problems that can develop. Sciatica pain may stem from a pinched nerve or from adhesion to muscle tissue that restricts the nerve. Without an accurate diagnosis, treatment may be unsuccessful. If you’ve tried remedying your sciatica pain with no results, schedule a consultation with your doctor or with a spinal specialist.
- Find the affected nerve segment. The sciatic nerves are the longest in the body. The very fact that they are nerves means that compression in one area of the sciatic nerve can send pain signals elsewhere. If you’re treating one spinal segment, say the lower back, and your compression is located farther up the spine, you may not get relief from your chosen therapy. This is another reason to consult with a back specialist. Imaging may be ordered to pinpoint the location of the pinched nerve.
- Consider surgical treatment. Sometimes, sciatica pain does not improve because nerve compression is caused by a herniated disc that needs repair. Herniated discs are common in the low back. Fortunately, repair can often be conducted using minimally invasive techniques.
There is no reason to endure stubborn sciatic nerve pain. To find out just why your pain is not improving, schedule a consultation with spinal specialist Dr. Todd Albert in our NYC office. Call 212-606-1004.