Sciatica is a common musculoskeletal problem that affects about 40% of adults. While it can affect anyone, studies show women are three times more susceptible than men. At Broward Specialty Group, with three convenient locations in Coconut Creek, Delray Beach, and Pompano Beach, Florida, the team provides onsite diagnosis and treatment of sciatica. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book a consultation online today.
Sciatica is a painful condition that occurs when your sciatic nerve –– the longest nerve in your entire body –– becomes pinched or compressed by a herniated disc, bone spur, or the narrowing of your spine.
Your sciatic nerve runs from your lower back, over your buttocks, down your legs, and into your feet. Pain caused by sciatica usually only affects one side of the body but can result in immobility or difficulty performing routine tasks.
Most of the time, sciatica resolves on its own; however, severe instances may require surgical intervention.
The most common symptom of sciatica is pain that runs down your buttocks and into your legs and feet. Pain varies widely from patient to patient. Some people experience a dull ache others experience a sharp or electric shock-like sensation.
Sciatica can also trigger feelings of numbness or weakness. This can make it challenging to stay balanced, walk, or stand for long periods.
Anyone can experience sciatica, but several factors increase your risk, including:
You’re also more likely to experience sciatica if you have diabetes. When left unmanaged, diabetes causes nerve damage, which can result in sciatica pain.
To diagnose sciatica, Broward Specialty Group conducts a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks about your lifestyle and symptoms. Afterward, you lie down on your back and lift one leg at a time. This lets your provider check your reflexes and muscle strength.
Your provider might also order an X-ray or MRI. These diagnostic imaging procedures can pinpoint herniated discs or bone spurs, two factors that can trigger sciatica. You might also benefit from electromyography (EMG) that measures electrical impulses produced by your nerves. This type of test can diagnose nerve compression.
Whenever possible, Broward Specialty Group treats sciatica using conservative, integrative measures of care. For example, you might benefit from taking over-the-counter painkillers or participating in physical therapy. If you have a moderate case of sciatica, you might benefit from corticosteroid injections or nerve blocks.
If a compressed nerve causes significant weakness or results in the loss of bladder or bowel control, surgical intervention may be necessary. Your provider might also recommend surgery to remove a bone spur or herniated disc.
To explore your treatment options for sciatica, schedule an appointment at Broward Specialty Group. Call the office or book a consultation online today.