Call Us Today: 952-841-2345

Call Us Today: 952-841-2345

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Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. It runs from the base of the spine, through the hips and buttocks, down the back of the thigh, all the way to the heel and sole of the foot. The sciatic nerve plays an important role in transmitting sensory information from the lower body, up the spine, and to the brain.

Sometimes, the sciatic nerve can become compressed or aggravated, resulting in pain. This condition is known as sciatica.

What causes sciatica?

The primary cause of sciatic pain is compression of the sciatic nerve, usually as a result of a herniated disc, bones spur, or narrowing of the spinal canal (also called stenosis). The main risk factors for developing sciatica include:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Genetics
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Bad posture

On rare occasions, tumors, cysts, infections, or abscesses in the lower spine or pelvic region may compress the sciatic nerve and cause sciatic pain.

What are symptoms of sciatica?

Sciatica is characterized as pain that travels from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down the leg. Sciatic pain can come in many forms. It most commonly presents as a burning, searing pain, but other sensations may include electric shock-like pain, a pulsating or throbbing pain, a persistent dull ache, or general discomfort that comes and goes.  Sometimes, sciatica sufferers may also experience numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness in the affected leg.

Though the condition usually only affects one leg, sciatic pain may occasionally be felt in both legs at the same time.

How is sciatica treated?

Mild cases of sciatica often go away on their own with home care. Home remedies can include hot/cold packs, over-the-counter pain medications (e.g. Advil or Aleve), and/or a regimen of gentle stretching.

In more moderate cases of sciatica, prescription medications, such as stronger pain medications or muscle relaxants, or a physical therapy program may be recommended to provide relief.

If these conservative treatments fail to relieve sciatica pain, advanced procedures such as spinal cord stimulation or spinal injections may be prescribed.

Twin Cities Pain Clinic specializes in a variety of advanced treatments for treating sciatic pain, including:

Schedule an appointment with Twin Cities Pain Clinic to learn how we can help relieve your sciatica pain.

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