Understanding Sciatica

Sciatica is the result of a protruding or herniated disk in your spine. This disk being out of place puts pressure on the nerves in your lumbar or lower spine.

Typically, sciatica occurs in individuals ages 30 to 50. Wear and tear of aging as well as any abrupt pressure on the disks of the lower spine can cause sciatica.

Sciatica can feel like a bad leg cramp or it can also have more sharp pain. This cramping sometimes lasts for weeks before it starts to go away. Your leg can also have a numb or even tingling feeling. Pain is most often felt when moving, sneezing, or coughing.

Sciatica can be treated with nonsurgical treatment. Most cases of sciatica, 80 to 90 percent, can be treated without surgery. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines are typically used, like ibuprofen, aspirin, muscle relaxants. In some cases, your doctor may use a cortisone-like injection. It may also be helpful to use hot or cold compresses. During your recovery time, it is also important that you continue to be as active as possible.

If nonsurgical treatment options don’t work, surgery can be done. The laminotomy with discectomy surgery can be performed. In this surgery, the doctor may remove part of the herniated disk so that it will relieve pressure on your nerves.

For more information on sciatica or if you are experiencing back pain, request an appointment online with our specialist at Kansas Joint & Spine Specialists or call (316) 218-9987.