Sciatica Pain

Sciatica refers to pain in the lower back that radiates through your hip, buttock, and leg. One possible cause of sciatica pain is irritation to the sciatic nerve, a large nerve that branches off the spinal cord in the lower back and courses through the buttock and down the back of the leg and into the foot. Inflammation of the sciatic nerve can occur for many reasons. When there is injury or pressure on the nerve, the nerve becomes swollen, inflamed, and painful. Herniated discs are the most common cause of sciatic nerve irritation.

Pain from sciatica can range from moderate, feeling like a cramp; to severe, shock-like sensations. Most people can recover through physical therapy and pain management techniques. Surgical repair is not often necessary.

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  • Pain anywhere along the course of the sciatic nerve running from the lower back, through the hip, buttock, leg, and foot. Pain is often described as radiating. 
  • Pain patterns vary widely from a mild, dull ache or cramp; to severe, shock-like sensations
  • Pain may become worse with coughing, sneezing, sitting or bending
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning may also be felt in the affected area
  • Weakness in the muscles along the sciatic nerve may also be noticed
     
  • Herniated discs
  • Overgrowth of bones in the spine, such as bone spurs, typically caused by arthritis
  • Narrowing of the spinal cord, also known as spinal stenosis
  • Tumors near the sciatic nerve
  • Damage to the nerve from underlying medical conditions such as with diabetes or multiple sclerosis
  • Piriformis syndrome - spasm of the piriformis muscle which runs directly adjacent to the sciatic nerve
  • Pregnancy
     

  • Occupations requiring repetitive twisting, heavy lifting, or long periods of sitting
  • Injuries such as a fall
  • Arthritis
  • Pregnancy
  • Excess weight
     
  • Physical examination to evaluate pain, reflexes, strength, and sensation
  • X-ray to show bone health and the presence of arthritis
  • MRI or ultrasound to show muscle and soft tissue health
  • Electromyography to evaluate potential nerve damage
     
  • RICE therapy: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain relief
  • Injections to alleviate pain
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise regimen or alternative therapies such as yoga, massage, chiropractic manipulation, or acupuncture
  • Surgical repair may be recommended in severe cases to relieve irritation or pressure of the nerve
     
  • #1 in my book!  This team replaced my right knee, and are now in the prep stages to replace the left one. One stop shopping as far as diagnosis, actual surgery at Lancaster General, along with rehab. The surgery team is great, and the rehab team very easy to work with and very thorough.
  • I had my left shoulder worked on and the surgery was very successful. I do not have any limitations or pain now. I would use this group again for any orthopedic issue I may have in the future, because they CARE about your success.
  • I could not have asked for better service, promptness and satisfaction with the treatment ordered. Thank you very much!
  • Great experience at Orthopedic Urgent Care at OAL Lancaster. Friendly and efficient receptionist, assistant and x-ray tech. Scott, the PA-C was phenomenal. Very personable, caring and knowledgeable. Diagnosed, gave thorough explanations and treated my condition promptly and effectively. 
  • Dr Stabile and her team were magical! I am pain free, and extremely happy I am in her care.
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