Lower back pain is one of the most common causes of disability in America today. In fact, around 40% of adults will experience sciatica at some point during their lives. At Innovative Pain Solutions Centers, with offices in Bowie and Salisbury, Maryland, Akara Forsythe, MD, and Joseph Oppong, Jr., MD, provide state-of-the-art treatments for sciatica to relieve your pain and the nerve compression causing it. Call or make an appointment online today.
Sciatica is the pain, numbness, and weakness in your lower back, buttocks, and legs caused by compression of your sciatic nerve. In most cases, you only have the symptoms on one side of your body, but you may develop sciatica in both legs.
A variety of conditions can cause sciatica. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc in your lumbar spine. When one of the gel-like discs in your spine bulges, it reduces the space available for your nerves to pass through your spine and can compress the nerve. The compression irritates the nerve causing sciatica symptoms.
Sciatica causes a variety of symptoms that extend from your lower back down through your buttocks and legs. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Sciatica symptoms vary between patients. You may have constant pain that can range in severity, or your sciatica symptoms may come and go. If you develop severe weakness in your thighs or lose control of your bladder or bowel, get medical attention right away.
At Innovative Pain Solutions Centers, Dr. Forsythe and Dr. Oppong provide comprehensive physical exams. They ask you about your medical history, lifestyle, and symptoms and perform tests to gauge your pain, range of motion, and other symptoms. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a diagnostic imaging test like an MRI, X-ray, or electromyography to gather more information about your spine, nerves, and muscles to confirm a sciatica diagnosis.
Dr. Forsythe and Dr. Oppong provide treatments that both relieve your sciatica symptoms and heal the condition causing them. For example, they may recommend a selective nerve root block, an epidural steroid injection, or medication management to ease your pain. However, they often combine these treatments with physical therapy or aqua therapy to reduce the compression of your nerve and build strength and flexibility in your back.
If you’re concerned about sciatica, call Innovative Pain Solutions Centers or make an appointment online today.