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Sciatica

Sciatica

Sciatica Services located in Atlanta, GA

Sciatica is a widespread problem causing shooting pain in the lower back, hip, and leg. If you develop sciatica, visit Kevin McCowan, MD, and Carisa Hines, MD, at Buckhead Injury Wellness Institute in Atlanta, Georgia. They’re pain management specialists who’ll identify your condition’s cause and provide the treatment needed to reduce pain. Call the office today or schedule a consultation online for a timely diagnosis and effective sciatica treatment.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a painful condition caused by sciatic nerve compression or irritation. The sciatic nerve starts in your lower (lumbar) spine, travels through your pelvis, and divides into two. One sciatic nerve branch goes down each leg, ending in your foot. In addition to pain, sciatica often causes:

  • Tingling
  • Prickling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Loss of function

Severe sciatica might (rarely) cause bladder and/or bowel incontinence (loss of control).

Sciatica pain usually feels like an electric shock from your hips or buttocks down one leg. It can affect both legs, but this is uncommon. The pain is often worse in the pelvis and leg than in the back. It’s likely to increase when you sit or lie down, then ease when you stand.

Why would I have sciatica?

The sciatic nerve damage causing sciatica results from part of your spine pressing on or pinching the nerve. Things that might cause sciatic nerve compression include:

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowed spinal canal)
  • Spondylolisthesis (slipping vertebrae)
  • Severe muscle spasms
  • Spinal changes during pregnancy
  • Excess body weight
  • Wearing high-heeled shoes
  • Herniated discs

Herniated discs often cause sciatica. Discs are spongy, shock-absorbent pads between your vertebrae (spinal bones). If the disc’s tough outer shell is damaged, the soft inner material can push through and press on the spinal nerves.

Age-related wear-and-tear (degenerative disc disease) is the most common herniated disc cause. Herniated discs sometimes happen suddenly from severe trauma, like a car accident.

How is sciatica treated?

Treating sciatica begins with addressing the underlying cause, which might mean losing weight, changing your footwear, and exercising more. Pain relief medication reduces your discomfort so that you can complete exercises that help relieve sciatic nerve compression.

Buckhead Injury Wellness Institute creates a specially designed physical therapy, cognitive-behavioral counseling, and medication program for each patient. If your symptoms continue despite these treatments, you might benefit from the available cutting-edge injectables.

Steroid injections contain powerful anti-inflammatories that reduce inflammation and pain. Biologics like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) use natural cells found in the human body to promote tissue healing. These cells might come from you (PRP is made from your blood) or a healthy donor.

Call Buckhead Injury Wellness Institute today or book an appointment online to receive specialized sciatica care.