Rooted in your lumbar spine, your sciatic nerve branches off into both sides of your hips and down through each leg, where it allows you to feel and control your lower body. If sciatic nerve pain is limiting your mobility and affecting your life, physiatrist Josephine Huang, MD, of Lower Manhattan Pain and Wellness Center can get to the bottom of your problem and help you find long-lasting relief from Sciatica. Call her Chinatown, New York City office, or book online today.
As the largest and longest nerve in your body, your sciatic nerve is susceptible to a variety of problems. Most cases of sciatica, or chronic sciatic nerve pain, occur when an injury, condition, or disorder compresses or irritates the nerve where it’s connected to your lumbar spine.
Mild or early sciatica often produces general lower back pain or discomfort. As the condition progresses, however, your symptoms may become more intense, persistent, or widespread. The most common causes of sciatica are:
When a disc in your lower spine shifts out of place or ruptures, it can put your sciatic nerve root under continuous pressure.
Lumbar stenosis and osteoarthritis are two common age-related degenerative conditions that cause the spaces in your spinal canal to shrink over time, which can eventually compress your sciatic nerve.
Whether it’s caused by a traumatic injury or chronic poor posture, a misalignment in your lumbar spine can pinch or inflame your sciatic nerve.
Sciatica can also be the result of a tight piriformis muscle. Situated directly over your sciatic nerve, this small, stabilizing muscle can trigger sciatica symptoms if it becomes too tense.
Persistent lower back pain that radiates into your hip or as far as the back of your thigh is the hallmark symptom of sciatica, which usually affects just one side of your body. In moderate-to-severe cases, sciatic nerve pain may radiate all the way down your calf and into your foot.
For some people, sciatica generates an uncomfortable burning sensation that intensifies after long periods of sitting or standing; for others, it produces as a sharp, electric-like jolt that may be triggered or worsened by minor movements like reaching or sneezing.
Dr. Huang takes a holistic and multifaceted approach to sciatica that aims to relieve pain and discomfort first, so it’s easier to address the underlying cause and restore optimal function.
Luckily, most cases of sciatica respond well to a targeted, multidisciplinary treatment approach that combines pain-relieving solutions like therapeutic injections and gentle acupuncture with mobility-enhancing solutions like physical therapy exercises, massage, and flexibility training.
Once your pain is under control, you can reduce your risk of recurrence by making targeted lifestyle changes. Whether you need to take steps to lose weight, become more active, quit smoking, or manage your stress levels more effectively, Dr. Huang can offer simple strategies to help you achieve your goals and stay healthy.
If you’re ready to put an end to sciatica pain, call Lower Manhattan Pain and Wellness Center today, or click online to schedule a visit with Dr. Huang any time.