What Exactly is Sciatica & How is it Treated?

“The origin of back pain isn’t always obvious, but sciatica, which affects millions of people every year, presents a distinctive symptom: pain that radiates from the lower back into the side or back of one or both legs. It may be a sharp pain, a dull ache, or something in-between, & it’s often accompanied by numbness, tingling, & weakness in the leg or foot” [1].

Many conditions can generate sciatica-like pain or sciatica. If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, then contact an Experienced Pain Specialist right away. They will give you an accurate diagnosis & put you on the road to recovery through a Holistic Personalised Treatment Plan which comprises both conventional & state-of-the-art treatments

In a Nutshell

• The sciatic nerve is renowned as the body’s longest nerve. It stretches from the lower back, and comes out at the spinal cord, where it divides into branches which travel via the hips, buttocks, legs, and feet

• The term sciatica, relates to a symptom, rather than a disease within itself. The pain, which is brought about by pressure on the sciatic nerve, radiates into both, or just one leg [1].

So What Causes Sciatica?

The majority of causes are due to:

• A lumbar herniated disc (AKA a pinched nerve, protruding disc, bulging disc, or ruptured disc), which comes about when the spinal discs’ gel-like interior (which acts as a shock absorber), leaks and irritates the nerve.
• Or herniation due to disc compression caused by the degeneration of the disk. – This causes the disc’s inner core to bulge out and put pressure on the nerve.

Both of these scenarios generate shooting pain, along with other sensations caused by this condition.

So What Type of Treatments Can a Pain Specialist Offer?

“In nearly all (95%) cases of sciatica, simple non-surgical treatments are effective” [1]

•The latest anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers
• Steroid injections
• Oral cortisone (which is suitable for mild pain)
•Epidural injections using corticosteroids (which are beneficial for severe pain). The epidural weakens the level of inflammation in the herniated disc, thereby negating some of the irritation coming from the nerve
•Professionally tailored exercise programs which are specifically designed to 1. ameliorate the pain caused by sciatica; and 2: provide conditioning which helps to prevent future recurrences of pain [1]


[1]. Weill Cornell Medicine (2022). “What Is Sciatica & How Is It Treated?”