New York Spinal Specialists assists patients seeking relief from a variety of symptoms, including acute and chronic pain of the neck, back, arm, and leg. The practice also offers treatment regimens for specific nerve-related issues such as sciatica, radiculopathy, and herniated discs.
A relatively common type of leg and lower back pain, sciatica is not a condition in and of itself, but rather the symptom of damage or pressure to the sciatic nerve or the five spinal nerve roots that feed it. The body’s longest nerve, the sciatic nerve runs from the lower spine down the back of both legs. Causes of sciatica include pelvic fractures, tumors, and piriformis syndrome, which involves the narrow muscles of the buttocks. A slipped disc is the most common identified cause of sciatica, while a significant number of cases offer no obvious underlying cause.
Typically, sciatica symptoms are only experienced on one side of the body, with pain varying greatly in terms of intensity, type, and duration. Sciatica-associated pain often begins with a mild tingling and may gradually worsen into dull ache, numbness, burning sensation, or sharp pain. Symptoms of acute sciatica generally subside within six weeks, and are often treatable through a combination of therapeutic exercise, over-the-counter painkillers, and hot or cold packs. Persistent sciatica typically benefits from supervised exercise programs and may, in certain cases, require surgery.
If the suspected cause of sciatica is a slipped disc or spinal stenosis, an immediate visit to a physician is recommended. Nerve pain can be difficult to diagnose and treat, but the risks of doing nothing far outweigh the cost and inconvenience of an examination by a neurologist or spinal specialist. Sciatica associated with spinal stenosis is often identified through pain that worsens when walking more than a few yards and when bending backwards. The condition may require a specialized treatment such as decompressive laminectomy, which is offered at New York Spinal Specialists.