What is Sciatica and how is it treated?

What is Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the longest continuous nerve in the body and it runs from the lower back through the back of the legs.  The radiating pain in the lower back, buttocks and legs commonly referred to as “sciatica” is not an actual diagnosis but a symptom of an underlying spinal condition. 

The most common conditions that result is sciatica are a herniated spinal disc, spinal stenosis and spondylosis as these conditions can cause the sciatic nerve to become compressed or irritated which then results in sciatic pain.

The most common symptoms of sciatica include the following:

  • A burning pain that radiates from the lower back to the buttocks, hips or back of the leg
  • Lower back pain
  • Numbness or tingling in the leg
  • Pain when sitting

The Fellowship Trained and Board Certified Spine Specialists at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates specialize in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating sciatica.  Those who are treated by a Spine Specialist at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates will receive a customized treatment plan that is customized to your lifestyle and goals.  Our goal is always to return you to an active and healthy lifestyle!

How is it treated?

The majority of cases of sciatica are effectively treated using nonsurgical treatment options.

These can include but not limited to the following:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Activity modification
  • Injections

Sciatica that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment or is caused by a severely herniated disc may require surgical intervention. The Fellowship Trained and Board Certified Spine specialists at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates are experts in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery to help relieve patients pain as quickly and safely as possible.  Studies have shown that those who undergo Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery recover much more quickly than those who undergo traditional or open spine surgical procedures