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Herniated Disc Treatment
The term sciatica describes the symptoms of leg pain and possibly tingling, numbness or weakness that travels from the low back through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. We treat Sciatica in our NYC office.
The vast majority of people who experience sciatica get better with time (usually a few weeks or months) and find pain relief with non-surgical sciatica treatment. For others, however, sciatica can be severe and debilitating.
The clinical diagnosis of sciatica is referred to as a "radiculopathy", which means simply that a disc has protruded from its normal position in the vertebral column and is putting pressure on the radicular nerve (nerve root) in the lower back, which forms part of the sciatic nerve.
Additional Sciatica Info:
An important thing to understand is that sciatica is a symptom of a problem - of something compressing or irritating the nerve roots that comprise the sciatic nerve - rather than a medical diagnosis or medical disorder in and of itself. This is an important distinction because it is the underlying diagnosis (vs. the symptoms of sciatica) that often needs to be treated in order to relieve sciatic nerve pain.
Sciatica occurs most frequently in people between 30 and 50 years of age. Often a particular event or injury does not cause sciatica, but rather it tends to develop as a result of general wear and tear on the structures of the lower spine.
Pain, numbness and/or weakness down the leg are the main symptoms of sciatica.
Sciatic pain is generally most noticeable as pain that radiates from the buttock area down the leg. Pain is usually on one side of the body, not both. Initially, sciatic pain is mild and grows in intensity - sometimes to unbearable levels - over time. There is usually little or no pain in the low back (although sciatica originates in the low back).
Nerve pain, such as a mild ache, and/or sharp, burning, tingling or electrical sensations, is caused by irritation to the sciatic nerve.
Worsening of symptoms may be brought about by coughing, sneezing, laughing and similar reflexive actions. Sciatica symptoms also tend to become worse if you sit for long periods of time. This is due to the pressure sitting puts on the nerve, which irritates it. Symptoms of sciatica also may worsen after long periods of lying on the irritated area, and after long periods of walking.
Numbness or weakness of the leg or foot is another symptom of sciatica. Should weakness of the leg or foot get progressively worse, and/or if there is a loss of control or feeling of the bowels or bladder, you may have a serious condition called cauda equina syndrome. Seek medical attention immediately.