Sciatica refers to a set of symptoms that are characterized by pain, numbness, weakness, tingling, and burning sensations. These symptoms typically start in the lower back and radiate down one or both legs. The severity of discomfort may vary among individuals, ranging from mild to extreme, and can mirror the excruciating pain of a severe toothache. Although symptoms may improve over time, they may also persist, in which case the orthopedic specialists at Premier Bone & Joint Centers in Casper, Wyoming, can provide a comprehensive range of sciatica treatment options.
Causes of Sciatica
Sciatica is brought on by irritation, inflammation, or compression of the sciatic nerve. This nerve, which is the longest and widest in the body, extends from the base of the spine to just below the knee and then divides into other nerves that travel down to the toes.
In many cases, sciatica is a result of the natural aging process. Over time, the lower back endures a significant amount of stress as the spine bends, twists, and carries a portion of the body’s weight during daily activities. The effects of the resulting wear and tear can gradually build up, potentially leading to a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, spinal narrowing (stenosis), or osteoarthritis. All of these conditions can cause the sciatica nerve to become pinched.
Personalized Sciatica Treatment Options
Premier Bone & Joint Centers places a strong emphasis on exploring non-invasive sciatica treatment before considering other avenues for care. Typically, this involves developing an individualized plan that may include physical therapy, medication, and/or injections, depending on the patient’s needs. Although surgery may be an option for severe sciatica cases, we prefer to consider it a last resort, as non-surgical treatments are often effective for most patients.