Many people experience sciatica, which causes a sharp, shooting pain down one leg. If you develop sciatica symptoms, visit James Ellner, MD, at Georgia Pain Management in Woodstock, Georgia. Dr. Ellner is a highly skilled interventional pain management specialist who uses cutting-edge treatments, such as epidural steroid injections and nerve blocks, to treat persistent sciatica. Call Georgia Pain Management today or use the online booking feature to access expert sciatica treatment.
Sciatica causes an electric shock-like or shooting pain that originates in the lower back and travels into the buttock and hip and down one leg. Sometimes the pain affects both legs, but it’s more common in one.
The condition develops when something compresses or injures the sciatic nerve — a large nerve that extends from the lower (lumbar) spine. The sciatic nerve splits in your pelvis, so one branch travels down each leg to your foot. This is why the pain of sciatica typically affects a single leg.
Nerve compression in the spine is known as radiculopathy. In the lower spine, it’s lumbar radiculopathy — the medical name for sciatica.
Radiculopathy in any part of your spine can cause various symptoms in addition to pain, including:
In extreme cases, lumbar radiculopathy can affect bladder and bowel control.
You develop these symptoms because pressure can affect any nerve function, from temperature sensitivity and other sensory input to muscle control.
The nerve compression responsible for sciatica could have several causes. A common one is spinal stenosis, where the space around your spinal canal narrows.
Herniated discs, where the soft interior of a spinal disc protrudes through the outer shell, are a likely cause. Spinal changes caused by arthritis and degenerative disc disease are another. Excess body weight, pregnancy, and a lack of exercise can all increase your risk of sciatica.
Dr. Ellner completes a physical exam, medical history review, and symptom evaluation to determine your sciatica’s cause. He may also order diagnostic images to view the area in more detail.
Initial sciatica treatment involves adjusting your activities to reduce nerve compression, heat and/or ice packs to ease pain and reduce inflammation, and taking anti-inflammatory medication.
If your symptoms don’t improve or they’re causing significant distress, visit Georgia Pain Management for advice.
Dr. Ellner often recommends physical therapy in addition to activity modification. If you don’t feel sufficient benefit from this approach, he might suggest an epidural steroid injection.
These spinal injections contain substances like cortisone, a potent anti-inflammatory drug, and lidocaine, a local anesthetic that numbs all sensations in the area.
To learn more about relieving sciatica, call Georgia Pain Management today or book an appointment online.