Sciatica

Find Effective Treatment for Sciatica at Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica is pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, which is a nerve that runs from the lower back into the hips and buttocks, and then down each leg. Pain can sometimes be quite severe, although it typically affects only one side of the body.

What Causes Sciatica?

Sciatica is usually caused when something either pinches or puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, such as a herniated disk, spinal stenosis, or a bone spur. Age, arthritis, pregnancy, obesity, and diabetes can be risk factors for sciatica. Sitting for long periods of time can trigger episodes of pain. 

What Are the Symptoms of Sciatica?

The main symptom of sciatica is radiating pain, which can occur suddenly. Pain can last for days or weeks, and then go away again, and can range from excruciating burning pain to a mild ache.

A distinction of sciatica—versus other types of back pain—is that it radiates down the leg, and sometimes even into the foot. A typical path is from the lower back, through the buttocks, and then down the back of the thigh and the calf.

How Is Sciatica Diagnosed?

If you’re concerned that sciatica is getting progressively worse, please visit us at Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic. We’ll evaluate your condition with a full medical history and a physical examination.

Imaging tests we may use include:

  • Computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan: An X-ray procedure that produces a three-dimensional scan of the body to determine complications or abnormalities
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): A non-invasive imaging technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to generate detailed images of the body
  • X-ray: Radiation waves that pass through the body and create images of the internal body organs, tissues, and bone

How Is Sciatica Treated?

Many cases of sciatica resolve on their own, without surgical treatment. Physical therapy, medications, and steroid injections can also reduce the level and frequency of pain. However, if there is severe pain, or if there are also bowel or bladder changes associated with the sciatica, surgery might be recommended.

Surgical treatment options at Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic include the removal of what’s putting pressure on the sciatic nerve—for example a bone spur or a herniated disk.

Make an Appointment

Our neurosurgeons at Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic have extensive experience in dealing with sciatica. To meet with one of our sciatica specialists, make an appointment today.

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