Sciatica is a form of nerve pain that runs along the course of the sciatic nerve. The most common cause of sciatica is injury or irritation to the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is typically unilateral.
The sciatic nerve consists of the longest and thickest nerve fibers in the body. The sciatic nerve derives its fibers from the lumbar as well as the sacral spine. These five nerve roots (L4, L5, S1, S2, and S3) come together to form a right and left sciatic nerve that runs bilaterally down your gluteal region and ends just below the knee, forming the tibial nerve and the common peroneal nerve that supply your calf and foot.
Sciatica most commonly occurs due to a herniated vertebral disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing (stenosis) of the spinal foramen, compressing part of the nerve. This compression results in inflammation, pain and often numbness and tingling in the distribution of the nerve.
The sciatic pain is often described as sharp, shooting, or jolts of pain. “Burning,” "electric,” or “stabbing” terms are also associated with sciatic pain.
The symptoms of sciatica include:
The treatment options for sciatica range from simple analgesia from medicines, such as acetaminophen and NSAIDs, spinal injection, and physical therapy to more complex surgical interventions like microdiscectomy and laminectomy.
Some forms of analgesic interventions for back pain offered at Kentuckiana Pain Specialists are:
Facet Joint Block: This procedure delivers steroid and an anesthetic into the joint facet under fluoroscopy. This also helps identify if a facet joint is the source of your pain
Lumbar Facet joint injection: An X-ray guided needle delivers time-release cortisone into the lumbar facet joint. This is done after needle placement is confirmed by injecting a dye into the joint space. This often brings long-term pain relief for the patient
Lumbar Epidural steroid injection: This injection delivers steroid into the epidural space and alleviates pain and inflammation
Sympathetic Nerve Block: A fluoroscopy-guided needle delivers analgesia to the sympathetic plexus in the lower back. If the pain improves, it is labeled as sympathetically-mediated pain
At Kentuckiana Pain Specialists, we educate patients on treatments that use integrative, palliative, and holistic approaches. As responsible doctors specializing in sciatica pain, we aim to address the opioid-overuse crisis by integrative medicine and interventional pain management from Dr. Nair. We adopt an individualized approach to pain relief and tailor a treatment plan that works for you.