While sciatica is often confused with general lower back pain, it’s actually the result of your sciatic nerve being irritated — which isn’t limited to just your back.
Your sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body, running from your lower back all the way to the end of your knees. If your sciatic nerve becomes irritated anywhere along its path, that can cause the telltale signs of sciatica like pain, numbness, or tingling.
Because up to 40% of people will struggle with sciatica at some point in their lives, Aditya Patel, MD, and the rest of our team at Sports, Pain and Regenerative Institute located in Fairview and Montclair, New Jersey want you to better understand sciatica and the treatment options that can effectively give you relief from it.
Sciatica refers to any type of pain that travels along the path of your sciatic nerve as the result of something compressing that nerve. Most often the causes of sciatica are herniated disks or an overgrowth of bone that irritates that nerve.
People who have sciatica can experience many different types of pain. It can feel like an electric shock, a mild ache, or shooting and burning pain. Your pain can be made worse by coughing or sneezing or even by sitting for long periods of time.
While mild cases of sciatica can often go away on their own, it doesn’t mean that it can’t still cause debilitating pain. That’s why at Sports, Pain and Regenerative Institute we offer a variety of treatment approaches so you can have one that works best for you.
Typically, sciatica is treated with the most conservative option first before moving to more drastic measures. These are what we recommend to treat your sciatica:
To begin, you may want to try out treating your sciatica on your own. This can include rotating between ice and heat, using over-the-counter pain medications, or doing some gentle exercises such as walking and stretching.
If these don’t do anything to get you pain relief, come see us so we can help you come up with an alternative treatment plan.
When you come and see our team for sciatica, we can recommend a few different options depending on how severe your sciatica is or how it responds to different treatments. Some of the things we offer include physical therapy, steroid injections, chiropractic care, or prescription pain medications.
If your sciatica doesn’t respond to conservative treatments, surgery may be your best next step. Surgical options are typically only talked about if you’re experiencing severe symptoms like loss of bladder control or severe weakness. Surgery can help to remove whatever is putting pressure on your sciatic nerve.
If you’re struggling with sciatica that’s not going away on its own, contact our team to learn about what kind of treatment would work best for you and your needs. To set up an appointment, you can give us a call at 201-402-7802 or use our online scheduler today.