Sciatica is a condition that refers to pain that radiates down the leg. When present, sciatica generally will only cause pain on one side of the body.
The pain associated with sciatica is caused by compression, pinching, inflammation, or irritation to the nerve. Common causes of sciatica include:
Herniated or Bulging Disc
Degenerative Disc Disease
Aging (bone spurs)
Lifestyle: wearing high heels, being overweight, smoking, sleeping on a poor mattress, and/or little to no exercise
Lower back or hip pain
Having a hard time moving around
Shooting pain down one leg with both sitting and standing
Tingling or burning sensations down the leg
To diagnose, your doctor will perform a clinical exam and ask you a number of questions regarding your symptoms. Your doctor may look for abnormalities via a physical examination, X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Sciatica is often self-limiting and may go away on its own over time. Non-surgical treatment is the first choice and includes:
1. Medications (anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, steroids)
2. Physical Therapy (core strengthening, stretching, soft tissue release)
3. Steroid Injections (epidural, facet blocks)
If non-surgical treatment fails, surgical intervention may be recommended to treat the structural cause of the condition.