You have sciatica, which means your sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in your body, is compressed. When a nerve experiences compression, your body usually sends a pain signal to your brain. Sciatic nerve pain often extends from your lower back all the way down your leg, making it difficult to carry out your normal daily routine. You may have intense, burning pain in addition to tingling, weakness, or even numbness in your leg.
Our Interventional board-certified doctors are skilled in orthopedic pain solutions and anesthesiology. They provide comprehensive care for patients with sciatica. Following is a brief summary of the range of treatments available today. The doctor will present you with the best solutions to treat your sciatica pain.
Conservative treatments for sciatica
Our Interventional Pain Doctor can give you a prescription-strength, anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve your pain, along with a muscle relaxer, if you need it. Applying a heating pad may also help.
Once the initial severe pain subsides, you may be prescribed physical therapy. Your therapy may start with a gentle massage called myofascial release to loosen the tight muscles in your back; electrical stimulation, and other passive modalities. It then proceeds to gentle stretches and exercises that strengthen the muscles in the back, abdomen, hips, and legs. Your therapist examines your posture when sitting and moving and shows you ergonomically correct positions to help prevent future problems.
Lifestyle changes to help sciatica
Are you a couch potato? Yes, you need to rest the first few days of a sciatica flareup, but remaining in bed for extended periods isn’t good for your health. Stretching exercises along with gentle forms of yoga or tai-chi can be helpful in preventing sciatica attacks.
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help decrease painful symptoms, along with other healthy lifestyle choices such as limiting alcohol and being smoke-free. Foods high in magnesium like dairy, fish, and spinach can be helpful in releasing muscles that have contracted.
Interventional treatments for sciatica
Our Pain Doctor has a variety of interventional treatments to help you manage sciatica pain. These treatments aim to block the pain signals from your brain to your sciatic nerve. An epidural nerve block can be used which is a steroid injection to help relieve your sciatica pain.
Radiofrequency ablation is another interventional treatment for sciatica. An electrical current passes through a needle and goes to the target nerves, and nerve endings are destroyed.
Spinal cord stimulation is another option you can consider. Your spinal cord nerves receive electrical stimulation that stops your body from sending the pain signal to your brain.
Regenerative medicine treatments for sciatica
Regenerative medicine harnesses the power of your own body to help you heal. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections have shown promise in providing pain relief to sciatica patients; more research is needed. PRP injections contain a special mixture of your own blood in which your blood’s nutrients are packed tightly together so they can provide quick healing to the inflamed area.
Whether you’re 19 or 90, you can injure your musculoskeletal system: muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones. If you play sports or don’t play sports and have chronic pain or an acute injury from a fall or other accident that affects your musculoskeletal system, an Interventional Pain Doctor specializes in relieving the pain.
Unlike an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in surgical interventions for musculoskeletal injuries and conditions, an Interventional Pain Doctor focuses on nonsurgical treatments. Did you know that 90% of injuries from sports don’t require surgery?
Our Interventional board-certified doctors are skilled in sports medicine. They treat many patients with pain from musculoskeletal injuries, using minimally invasive approaches as well as orthobiologic treatment.