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If you have a shooting pain going from your lower back, through your hip, and down one leg, there’s a good chance you have sciatica.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a painful condition that develops because the sciatic nerve is under pressure from nearby tissues where it exits the spine.

The sciatic nerve starts at the part of your spinal cord that’s in the lower lumbar region of your back. It’s one large nerve that splits into two farther down, with one branch then going down each leg.

Your sciatic nerve can come under pressure for a number of reasons, including:

If you’re overweight or don’t get enough exercise, you have a greater chance of developing sciatica. Wearing high heels can also force your spine and joints into an unnatural position that can increase the chances of the sciatic nerve coming under pressure.

Less commonly, you may have a condition called piriformis syndrome, a neuromuscular disorder where the piriformis muscle near the top of your hips compresses the sciatic nerve.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

Sciatica pain begins in your low back, then travels down through your hip and buttock into one leg, following the route the sciatic nerve takes. Sciatica pain often feels worse when you’re in bed or sitting down, and eases off after you get up. You may also experience:
These symptoms can vary according to where and how badly the sciatic nerve is coming under pressure.

How is sciatica treated?

The team at Advanced Pain Modalities aims to relieve pain and other symptoms of sciatica by taking the pressure off the sciatic nerve. To be able to do this effectively, they need to know as much as possible about where the pressure is coming from and why. As well as carrying out a physical exam, they may need to run diagnostic imaging tests before deciding on a suitable treatment plan.

Treatments that may be in your plan include:

Patients who have sciatica usually respond well to more conservative approaches, but if your pain isn’t improving, you may need to consider alternative options. One of these options is a spinal cord stimulator, which involves having an implant under your skin that allows you to use a remote-control device to help prevent pain signals from reaching your brain.

If you have any symptoms of sciatica, get expert treatment sooner rather than later, as nerve compression can cause permanent damage if left untreated. Call Advanced Pain Modalities today, or book your appointment using the online tool.

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