Early Detection May Make the Difference Between Sciatica Treatment or Back Surgery

Posted on November 3, 2020

Sciatica is a form of pinched nerve that occurs when surrounding tissues put too much pressure on the sciatic nerve. Nerve function may be disrupted by a number of factors associated with tendons, muscles, cartilage and bones. The resulting symptoms can include weakness, stiffness, numbness, tingling and/or severe pain.

A common recommendation by pain physicians may be rest and physical therapy for pain relief, but if not detected and treated sooner than later, sciatica may lead to the need for back surgery. For this reason, it is imperative to consult with a qualified pain doctor as soon as these symptoms appear:

  • Total numbness or diminished sensation in the nerve area\
  • An aching, burning, or sharp pain that radiates outward
  • Tingling sensations in the region of affected nerve
  • Weakness in the muscles

Complete recovery can take up to 2 or more weeks, depending on the severity of damage or pinched nerve pain.

The Sciatic Nerve

The sciatic nerve extends through the buttocks and down the back of the leg. Compression of this nerve is known as radiculopathy. Sciatica is a form of radiculopathy with regard to issues in the sciatic nerve.

The most common symptom of sciatica is severe and burning pain down one leg, the buttocks, lower back, or in the foot. In the most extreme cases, the pain may be so intense that it can cause paralysis, muscle weakness or total numbness, which occurs when the nerve is pinched between the adjacent bone and disc.

Sciatica can also be caused by a cyst or tumor that applies pressure on the root of the sciatic nerve or on the nerve itself.

Sciatica Treatment

Physical therapy, based on exercise, is a common non-surgical treatment option for chronic back pain resulting from sciatica. This method of relief has a high rate of success in the reduction of painful symptoms.

IMPORTANT NOTE: it is critical to consult with a pain relief expert before attempting to perform any strenuous physical activities, to obtain a thorough examination and diagnosis which may prevent further damage to your pain condition.

If physical therapy is called for, here are some of the exercises your pain doctor may recommend:

  • Aerobic exercises
  • Stretching & flexibility exercises
  • Core strengthening
  • Posture re-training
  • Testing of pain tolerance limits

Other recommendations for relief from sciatica may include dietary changes, stress relief exercises or other modifications in lifestyle habits.

Additionally, safe interventional procedures, such as epidural steroid injections and nerve blocks, may be indicated in conjunction with physical therapy in order to address pain and inflammation. This will ensure optimal results from the physical therapy and exponentially help to improve strength and flexibility.

Is Sciatica Causing Your Back Pain?

For those suffering from chronic back pain due to pinched nerve and inflammation, early treatment is the best chance of recovering without need for invasive spine surgery.

If you experience symptoms that may indicate sciatica, contact the pain management specialists at Riverside Pain Physicians for guidance and recommendations. We will work with you to determine the source of your pain and offer minimally invasive treatment options to help restore you to a more active, pain-free quality of life.

Call Riverside Pain Physicians today at 904.389.1010 to schedule an appointment, or click here to set up a consultation online.

Tags: Pain Management Jacksonville, pain management specialists, sciatica treatment