The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. Starting in the lower back and it splits to run through the hips, buttocks and legs on both sides.
Many times when patients experience back pain, it is hard to determine the source of the pain. While other times it can be extremely easy. Like falling on your back or being hit by something to your backside. Sciatica pain is one of those types of pain that is relatively easy to pinpoint.
Sciatica pain often starts with a herniated disk in the lower spine (lumbar). The bones that make up the spine (vertebrae), are separated by round disks of connective tissue. These disks can get worn down due to injury or years of wear and tear. When this happens, the disks push out or herniates and can put pressure on the nerves around it. When it’s the sciatic nerve that is involved, patients usually experience severe pain.
Patients will feel pain that radiates from the lower back down the sides of the legs. Pain can range from moderate to severe and sharp pains can come and go. Some patients can feel tingling and or weakness in both their legs and feet.
Some common risk factors of Sciatica are:
Age: The majority of people who get sciatica range in age from 30-55.
Health: Some conditions such as diabetes, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and others can affect and damage the nerves.
Weight: Those who are overweight are at a greater risk due to extended pressure put on the spine. This increases the chances of getting a herniated disk.
Activities: Some people have sciatica problems due to their lifestyle and activities, or lack thereof. Sitting all day at a desk job can be a cause, as well as heavy lifting can contribute to disk damage.
Most people can get some relief from over the counter medicines as well as compresses. However, it is important to keep moving and reduce rest. That’s right, one condition where rest can make the situation worse. Sitting or lying down can continue to aggravate the sciatic nerve and the pain.
If the pain persists, Dr. Aust Interventional Pain is here to help. We have offices in Slidell, Metairie, and Thibodaux. Call us today, schedule an appointment and start your journey to achieve optimal pain relief!
“We believe most patients can achieve optimal pain management with little to no chronic oral opioids, and use interventions to reduce or eliminate oral opioid use”.
Dr. Tod Aust