Up to 40% of Americans may experience sciatica at some point during their lives. If you have pain that starts in your lower back and shoots down one of your legs, contact Franz Jones, DO. He offers expert diagnosis and treatment for sciatica at his three practices located in Weston, Plantation, and Pembroke Pines, Florida. Call Dr. Jones today or schedule a consultation online.
Sciatica is often used interchangeably with low back pain or is perceived as a condition that causes back pain. However, it’s actually the name for the collection of symptoms caused by compression of your sciatic nerve.
Your sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body. It starts in your lower back, extending toward your buttocks before splitting to extend down the backs of your legs, ending just below your knees.
One of the most common sciatica symptoms is shooting pain anywhere along your sciatic nerve, including your lower back, buttocks, and legs.
You may also have numbness or weakness in one or both of your legs, or a numb or tingling sensation in your feet and toes. In rare cases, sciatica may also contribute to a loss of bladder or bowel function. This is rare but is a surgical emergency.
Any condition that compresses or irritates your sciatic nerve can cause sciatica. One of the most prevalent causes of sciatica is a herniated disc in your lower spine.
You have rubbery discs between each of your vertebrae to absorb shock and help you move. These discs have a rubber-like shell and a gel interior. If the shell tears, the gel can bulge out and compress the surrounding nerves.
Other causes of sciatica may include bone spurs, stenosis, and tumors. Your risk of sciatica increases if you lead a sedentary lifestyle or if you’re overweight. Also, as you age, your spinal discs become dry and less flexible, which increases your chances of a herniated disc.
Dr. Jones offers treatments to relieve your sciatica and alleviate the compression of your sciatic nerve. He customizes each treatment plan to address the specific needs of individual patients. However, your program may include any of the following:
In some cases, you may need surgery such as a lumbar laminectomy or discectomy to create more space in your spinal column and reduce pressure on your sciatic nerve.
If you have sciatica symptoms, call Dr. Jones or make an appointment online today for expert, personalized care.