Approximately 40% of Americans experience sciatica at some point in their lives. If you suffer from sciatica, John Dombrowski, MD, and the team at the Washington Pain Center in Washington, D.C., offer expert diagnosis and treatments to relieve your pain and help you get back to an active and healthy lifestyle. Call the Washington Pain Center today or schedule a consultation online.
Sciatica is the name for the pain and other symptoms caused by compression of your sciatic nerve in your lumbar spine. Sciatica symptoms vary. You may experience lower back pain, or your pain may radiate through your buttocks and down your legs. You may also have numbness, pins-and-needles sensations, or weakness in your legs. Sciatica usually affects only one side of your body.
Your experience with sciatica is unique. Your pain may be sharp and stabbing, or it could burn or feel like an electrical jolt. Some people find that sneezing, coughing, or laughing triggers their symptoms, while others say that prolonged sitting aggravates their discomfort.
Many conditions can contribute to sciatica. One of the most common causes is a herniated disc in your lower back.
You have rubbery discs in your spine that cushion your vertebrae and absorb shocks created by movement. The discs have a thick shell that surrounds a more gel-like interior. As you age, your disc can become dry and at risk of tearing. When the outer layer of a disc tears and the soft center bulges through, you have a herniated disc. The bulge often compresses the nerves in your spine, leading to pain, numbness, and weakness.
Other conditions that cause sciatica include bone spurs, spinal stenosis, tumors, and diabetes.
Your risk of sciatica increases with age. If you’re overweight, spend a lot of time sitting, or have a career that physically taxes your spine, your chances of developing sciatica are higher.
At the Washington Pain Center, Dr. Dombrowski offers comprehensive consultations and exams to identify the cause of your sciatica. Finding what is behind your pain and other symptoms is critical to determining the treatments that will most effectively relieve them.
Dr. Dombrowski may suggest spinal injections to tame the nerve causing your pain. In addition to providing immediate therapeutic pain relief, spine injections can also help Dr. Dombrowski identify the precise location of the injury or tissue damage causing your pain.
In addition to injections, Dr. Dombrowski may recommend procedures to repair damaged discs or spinal decompression treatments. He often suggests physical therapy to improve strength and flexibility in your back and core to ensure your spine receives sufficient support.
Don’t let sciatica disrupt your life. Call the Washington Pain Center or make an appointment online today.