The term sciatica refers to pain that results from pinching of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is a singular structure, being one nerve that runs down the leg, but it is actually formed by multiple different lumbar and sacral nerve roots coming together. These include a component of the fourth and fifth lumbar nerve roots along with the first sacral nerve root and typically a portion of the third lumbar nerve root.
As the sciatic nerve gets pinched, the person will experience pain in that particular leg in the sensory distribution that pertains to that nerve root. This may be on the front of the
thigh, the outside of the calf, the front of the foot, wherever that particular nerve road provides sensation the pain is typically experienced. If it is severe, an individual may also have some muscle weakness pertaining to those controlled by that nerve root. The person may have difficulty lifting up his or her foot which is known as a foot drop.
At any one point in time, one percent of America is experiencing a herniated disc pushing on the nerve root that is trying to get out from the spine. This leads to a pinched nerve and sciatica pain. Simply having a herniated disc push on a nerve root does not cause pain. It may lead to motor weakness, but the simple compression does not in and of itself cause pain. That actually comes from the information that is sparked up by the pinching. There are various inflammatory mediators that get produced by the body because the nerve to get irritated and the sciatica pain results.
With the resulting inflammation, that is the reason that anti-inflammatory treatments work so well such as steroid injections around the area of the pinched nerve. In fact, epidural steroid injections for pinched nerves work well over 75 to 80% of the time. Additionally, anti-inflammatory medications by mouth can also provide exceptional pain relief.
Most individuals who experience sciatica will not end up needing surgery. Over 95% of those will eventually resolved on their own, and treatments such as cortisone injections can keep the pain at bay while the body is disintegrating the piece of disc that is pushing on the nerve road and causing sciatica.
If you or a loved one is experiencing sciatica, hope is available for pain relief. Arizona Pain Specialists treats sciatica patients every day and are experts in pain relief techniques. Comprehensive options are available including physical rehabilitation, chiropractor Phoenix therapy, spinal decompression therapy, medication management, and interventional procedures such as epidural steroid injections.
Arizona Pain has multiple offices throughout the valley with pain management Phoenix AZ locations taking most major insurance plans along with Worker’s Compensation, Medicare, Medicaid, personal-injury liens and works with self-pay patients as well.
Call today for more information and scheduling at 602-507-6550.