Sciatica, also known as radiculopathy or radicular pain, is a common disorder causing radiating pain from the lower back to the leg. This condition is an irritation or compression of one or more nerve roots in the lumbar spine. Because these nerves travel to the hips, buttocks, legs and feet, an injury in the lumbar spine can cause symptoms in these areas. Sciatica may result from a variety of problems with the bones and tissues of the lumbar spinal column. Your healthcare provider will work with you to diagnose and treat your sciatica.
If you suffer from sciatica and would like additional information on this painful condition, please review the video and frequently asked questions below. If you are interested in or scheduled for a epidural injection for your radicular pain and would like additional information on this interventional procedure please refer to our article on epidural injections. Additionally, if you have questions or concerns do not hesitate to discuss them with your physician.
Sciatica/ Radiculopathy/ Radicular pain FAQ
The sciatic nerves are the longest and thickest nerves in the body that supplies each leg with sensation and the ability to move. Sciatica is a common disorder caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve as it exits the spinal cord. Sciatica is often seen as a result of a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, or movement of a vertebrae forward from the spine -- called spondylolisthesis. Sciatica is characterized by shooting pain or an electric shock from the lower back to the leg(s).
To determine whether you are suffering from sciatica or from another condition, your provider will start with a comprehensive medical review and physical exam. Diagnostic tests that include x-rays, electromyography, lab results, and/or MRIs will also be reviewed.
Sciatica may be treated in many ways including non-opioid adjuvant medications, epidural injections, and complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and physical therapy. Sciatica may be treated as part of a care team model involving pain psychology, pain management, surgery, and primary care specialties working together.
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