The sharp, shooting buttock and leg pain that's typical of sciatica is due to nerve compression in your lower back. If you're affected by this type of pain, board-certified physician Pritesh Patel, DO, at Spine & Pain Institute of Texas in DeSoto, Texas, can help. Dr. Patel can help relieve the agony of sciatica and restore your mobility using nonsurgical treatments and minimally invasive interventions like epidural steroid injections. Call Spine & Pain Institute of Texas today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment using the online form.
If you've got a shooting pain going from your lower back, through your hip and buttock, and down one leg, there's a good chance it's sciatica (lumbar radiculopathy).
Other conditions can cause similar symptoms, such as piriformis syndrome, but sciatica is the most likely explanation.
Sciatica is so named because the pain comes from the sciatic nerve. This is a large nerve with its roots in the bottom of your lumbar spine (lower back), from where it branches into two. One branch goes through each hip and buttock and down the length of each leg.
Typical sciatica symptoms include:
The pain that goes down your leg might stop at any point or could go all the way to your foot.
Compression of the sciatic nerve triggers sciatica symptoms. The pressure could be due to anything that moves out of alignment in that area of your spine or problems like inflammation and bone spurs.
One of the most common causes of nerve compression leading to sciatica is a herniated disc. Discs are flexible pads that sit in between your vertebrae. They protect the bones and help stabilize your spine.
The center of a disc weakened by degenerative disc disease or one that suffers an acute trauma might bulge or protrude through the disc's outer layer. This tissue is what’s often pressing on your sciatic nerve when you have a herniated lumbar disc.
To diagnose the cause of your sciatica, Dr. Patel conducts a physical examination and discusses your symptoms with you. She might need to see diagnostic images such as a CT scan to rule out other causes and identify the source of the nerve compression.
Initially, Dr. Patel is likely to recommend conservative treatments such as:
It can be difficult to manage the exercises necessary to improve your condition due to the shooting pain sciatica causes. If so, or if physical therapy isn't making a significant difference to your pain, you might benefit from an epidural steroid injection.
These ultrasound-guided injections contain a local anesthetic for immediate (but short-lived) pain relief and a powerful anti-inflammatory drug that offers longer-term respite.
To benefit from Dr. Patel's experience in helping patients plagued by sciatica, call Spine & Pain Institute of Texas today or book an appointment online.