Sciatica affects 40% of American adults at some point in their lives. At Texas Neuro Spine, Sebastian Villarreal, MD, and George Galvan, MD, know how serious this type of nerve pain is and how severely it can disrupt your life. At their three office locations in San Antonio and one in Kerrville, Texas, they prescribe and deliver the world’s most advanced cutting-edge solutions to end sciatica pain and frustration. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment using online scheduling today.
Sciatica Q & A
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a type of pain that starts in your hip and lower back area, then radiates down your leg as far as the knee. The affected nerve, your sciatic nerve, delivers impulses to your legs and feet.
The sciatic nerve has left and right branches, which go down each leg. Usually, sciatica pain affects one branch, so it’s typically on your left or right side only.
Sciatica can vary in severity, from minor soreness to a very sharp, stabbing, or burning kind of pain. Symptoms often occur sporadically and may suddenly hit when you make involuntary movements like coughing.
What causes sciatica?
Any spinal nerve damage or pressure can cause sciatic nerve pain. The most common causes include disc herniation, bony protrusions in the spine (bone spurs), and spinal narrowing (lumbar spinal stenosis). Less commonly, infections and tumors can lead to sciatica.
Some factors can contribute to sciatica, such as obesity, poor physical condition (lack of strong core muscles), poor posture, and body changes during pregnancy.
Certain conditions can cause pain that’s similar to sciatic nerve pain. For example, sacroiliac joint dysfunction may cause radiating sciatica-like pain. But, it’s a completely different issue because it involves a joint rather than a nerve.
Texas Neuro Spine identifies the cause of your sciatica pain to recommend the most effective long-term pain relief treatment for you.
How do you treat sciatica?
Sciatica treatment usually includes conservative care to start, such as:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Heat and ice application
- Physical therapy
- Corticosteroid and anesthetic injections
If conservative care fails, a spinal cord stimulator, which masks pain impulses, or an intrathecal pain pump, which delivers medication directly at the site of the sciatica pain, may help.
If you have severe nerve damage symptoms like loss of bladder control or pronounced leg weakness, minimally invasive spine surgery may be the best solution.
Surgical procedures for severe sciatica include:
Microdiscectomy is often effective for sciatica pain related to lumbar disc herniation. In this procedure, your surgeon removes the part of the disc, usually a fragment, that’s pressing on the sciatic nerve.
Laminectomy can be an effective procedure for sciatica related to lumbar spinal stenosis. In this procedure, your surgeon removes the lamina, the top of the spinal canal, to make more space for your nerves. This relieves the pressure causing your sciatica.
The surgeons at Texas Neuro Spine can also perform minimally invasive procedures to remove bony growths, ligament overgrowth, or other issues that led to your sciatica to finally end your symptoms.
Learn more about how Texas Neuro Spine can relieve sciatica pain permanently by calling the office nearest you or booking an appointment online.