Affecting 10-40% of the adult American population at some point in their lives, sciatic nerve pain is a common reason for doctor’s visits and lost time. As well as pain symptoms, you could experience tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, and even bowel and urinary incontinence.
Most cases of sciatic nerve pain resolve with rest and time, but some instances can be chronic when they’re related to degenerative diseases like arthritis. At Westside Pain Specialists, we can help you manage your condition regardless of its origins.
All about sciatic nerve pain
When you’re suffering from the effects of sciatic nerve compression, there’s little comfort in knowing that it’s a common condition.
Pain can happen anywhere along the path of the nerve, from where it branches off the spinal cord to your feet. While it’s possible for both the left and right nerves to cause symptoms, it’s rare for this to happen simultaneously. Usually only one side is affected.
Any condition that contacts or compresses any portion of sciatic nerve tissue has the potential to cause pain and other sciatic nerve symptoms, a syndrome referred to as sciatica. The most common cause of sciatica is the bulging or rupture of spinal discs. It’s only a problem when the deformed disc touches the nerve.
Arthritis is another major cause of sciatic nerve pain, when bone growth related to degenerating spinal joints interferes with the gaps and spaces used as passageways by sciatic nerve tissue, a condition also called spinal stenosis.
Herniated discs and bone spurs become more likely as you get older, making age a dominant risk factor for sciatica. Other contributing factors include:
- Strenuous activity: Any job or hobby that puts extra strain on your lower back
- Long periods of sitting: Whether a desk job, driving, or other activity
- Body mass: Carrying extra pounds often adds to the load on your lower back
- Diabetes: High blood sugar can directly damage nerve tissue, including the sciatic nerve
Tall people also tend to have a higher incidence of sciatica. Men over 6-foot-1 are statistically more likely to suffer from sciatic nerve pain.
Dr. James Nassiri and his team at Westside Pain Specialists focus on treating and diagnosing sciatica. In most cases, sciatica symptoms clear on their own with time and rest, though the pain can be disruptive. We’ll focus on relieving pain first before approaching the underlying causes.
Conservative care might include hot and cold compresses, physical therapy, and over-the-counter pain medications if your symptoms are light or moderate. Prescription-strength medications may help temporarily for more intense pain.
Corticosteroid injections can often relieve symptoms with their powerful anti-inflammatory effects. We even offer regenerative therapies like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy for some patients. In rare cases when sciatic nerve pain is chronic, you may benefit from intravenous (IV) low-dose ketamine infusions.
Your sciatic nerve pain relief starts with Westside Pain Specialists. Call our nearest office in Beverly Hills or Rancho Cucamonga, California, to schedule your examination and consultation today.