Sciatica: A Twist of Spine
The prevalence of sedentary lifestyles in America today is on the rise, and with it a steadily increasing instance of sciatica. A plague of leg numbness, shooting pains, and weakness in the legs is being written off as merely ‘pins and needles’ or under-use, but the real culprit is far more insidious and potentially life changing. These seemingly minor issues can be signs of sciatic pain, indicators of a condition known as Sciatica.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica describes a series of conditions caused by the sciatic nerve being compromised. Bone-spurs, herniated discs, infections, and in rare cases tumors on or around the spine can be the initiating factor.
Nerves in the L4-S1 become impacted by these conditions, resulting in sciatic pain manifesting as pain reaching down through the buttocks, hips, and into the legs. Numbness and pain can show up anywhere in this region when suffering from this condition.
How do I know if it’s Sciatica?
Tests including MRI’s to examine soft-tissue, X-rays for bone structure issues, and EMG/NCV to test nerve function are all possible methods of diagnosing sciatica and your particular manifestation of it. Each of these addresses a different aspect of the conditions, and determining where exactly the pain is coming from. Cases of sciatica can vary from person to person, ranging from minor aches and pains to excruciating ongoing pain. In some cases, bowel and bladder function can be impacted, and only once the source of the sciatica has been determined can you and your medical professional determine the best treatment.
What Can Be Done?
Treatment options range from a simple period of rest and reduced activity to targeted injections and, in some cases surgery. In the mildest of cases the condition can resolve itself in just a few days, more severe cases will require more active treatment. Certain medicines can be prescribed to address the pain and muscle spasms that often accompany sciatica, often administered orally. Steroid injections and nerve blocks are more aggressive options that can provide lasting relief for the patient. In severe cases, surgery may be the best option, often including procedures such as MLD’s, Laminectomies, and surgical decompression to help address the pain while correcting the structural issues that cause it.
Dr. Kevin Li MD is an expert in treating sciatica in Los Angeles. He specializes in providing minimally-invasive treatments, having successfully treated a broad range of cases without surgery. Working with his patients to produce a comprehensive plan specifically tailored to the patient, he takes your personal lifestyle into account by balancing your mobility needs and activity level into a treatment that will let you get back to your life free from pain.
If you have any questions regarding sciatica treatment, please follow the links below to contact us. Our staff will be sure to get back to you within 24 hours.
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