Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists
Pain Management and Regenerative Medicine located in Northern Virginia
When you live with pain related to sciatica, it may come and go, but it’s always irritating and sometimes debilitating. Talal Ghazal, MD and John Huffman, MD with their team of health care professionals at Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists in Arlington, Virginia, offer comprehensive diagnostics to identify the cause of your pain and innovative, treatments to help resolve your discomfort and restore function. Call the office or schedule a consultation online today to learn more about your treatment options for sciatica.
Sciatica Q & A
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is the name for pain, numbness, and the pins-and-needles sensations caused by compression of the spinal nerves that form your sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest compilation of nerves in your body, extending from your back down through your legs to the feet.
When the sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed by conditions such as a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease, you can experience painful and disruptive symptoms. Sciatica typically occurs intermittently, but when left untreated, it can cause chronic and debilitating pain.
What are the common symptoms of sciatica?
While your sciatic nerve splits to run down each of your legs, sciatica typically affects one leg at a time.
IIf you have sciatica, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Pain in your lower back, buttocks, and/or hip and leg
- Numbness, tingling, or burning sensations down the back or side of your leg
- Sharp pain in your leg
- Pain while sitting or lying down
- Difficulty walking with potential weakness and unsteady gait
Everyone experiences sciatica slightly differently, and you may or may not experience any of these symptoms, or they can occur with varying degrees of severity.
How is sciatica diagnosed?
Drs. Huffman and Ghazal combine a detailed consultation, physical examination, and review of diagnostic tests to determine if your pain is caused by sciatica, or if it's caused by another condition or injury, resulting in your discomfort.
Your doctors will ask you about your medical history and your lifestyle and will guide you through some exercises and movements to evaluate the location, triggers and the severity of your pain.
If necessary, they may order additional diagnostic tests like to look for herniated discs and other issues that could compress or irritate your sciatic nerve.
What are the treatment options for sciatica?
It’s critical to talk to your IPRMS physician about your pain, as sciatica rarely goes away without treatment and, in many situations, becomes more severe over time.
After your comprehensive diagnostic consultation, your doctors create a treatment plan, designed to reduce your discomfort and heal the underlying condition.
Some of the non-surgical, non-invasive therapies used include:
- Exercises to stretch and build strength in the lower back
- Heat and cold therapies
- Massage therapy
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
Some of the non-surgical, interventional injection therapies include:
- Interlaminar epidural steroid injection
- Transforaminal epidural steroid injection
- Caudal epidural steroid injection
- Selective nerve root block
With professional help available, you don’t have to put up with pain or simply hope that it will go away on its own.
If you’ve had pain in your lower back, hips, buttocks, or legs for more than a week, and it is not getting better, call Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists or request an appointment online today.
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