Sciatica is a common condition that affects the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body. It can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness that radiates from the lower back down through the buttock and into the leg. At Sterling Hospitals, we provide comprehensive care for patients with sciatica, offering advanced diagnostic and treatment options to relieve pain and improve function. 

Sciatica is usually caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, often due to a herniated disc, bone spur, or narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis). Other factors such as muscle imbalances, trauma, and degenerative changes in the spine can also contribute to the development of sciatica. 

Treatment: The treatment of sciatica depends on the severity of the condition, the underlying cause, and the symptoms experienced by the patient. Conservative, non-surgical treatments are typically the first line of management and may include: 

  • Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), pain relievers, and muscle relaxants may be prescribed to manage pain and inflammation associated with sciatica. 
  • Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises, stretching, and other physical therapy techniques can help improve strength, flexibility, and posture, and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. 
  • Epidural Steroid Injections: Corticosteroid injections may be administered into the epidural space around the affected nerve to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. 
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Changes in lifestyle, such as maintaining proper posture, avoiding prolonged sitting or standing, and using ergonomic furniture, may be recommended to reduce strain on the spine and relieve sciatica symptoms. 

In cases where conservative treatments do not provide adequate relief, or if the sciatica is causing severe symptoms or nerve damage, surgical intervention may be considered. Surgical options for sciatica may include: 

  • Microdiscectomy: This minimally invasive procedure involves removing the portion of the herniated disc or bone spur that is compressing the sciatic nerve, while preserving the rest of the disc. 
  • Laminectomy: This procedure involves removing a portion of the vertebra (lamina) to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. 
  • Spinal Fusion: In cases where there is instability or spinal stenosis, spinal fusion may be performed to stabilize the spine and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. 

Recovery: Recovery from sciatica depends on various factors, including the severity of the condition, the type of treatment received, and individual factors. In many cases, conservative treatments or minimally invasive surgical procedures can lead to significant pain relief and improved function. Patients may be advised to gradually resume normal activities, with specific instructions on lifting, bending, and posture to avoid re-injury. Physical therapy may be recommended to improve strength, flexibility, and posture, and to prevent recurrence of sciatica. 

At Sterling Hospitals, our experienced team of spine specialists is dedicated to providing comprehensive care for patients with sciatica. We offer advanced diagnostic and treatment options, including conservative and surgical interventions, tailored to each patient's unique needs. Our goal is to relieve pain, improve function, and help patients achieve a successful recovery, so they can regain their quality of life. If you are experiencing symptoms of sciatica, our expert team is ready to provide you with personalized care to effectively manage your condition and improve your well-being.