Treatment for Sciatica in Arlington, VA
Sciatica is a painful condition that is sourced along your sciatic nerve, which stretches from the lower back, through your hips and buttocks and leads into each of your legs. Most people with sciatica only experience the symptoms on one side of their body.
Experience targeted Sciatica treatment with Dr. Timothy Herberg, our skilled Interventional Pain Specialist, at our orthopedic clinic in Arlington, VA. Request an appointment online today using our secure form.
What Are the Symptoms?
Common symptoms of sciatica include:
- A fuzzy feeling in your legs, toes, or feet, similar to a pins and needles feeling.
- Medium to high levels of pain in your lower back, buttock, and down your leg.
- Pain that worsens with movement.
- Loss of any bladder and/or bowel control.
- Numbness or weakness in your lower back, buttock, leg, or foot.
While different people may experience different levels of pain, most people characterize the pain as sharp jolts, a burning feeling, or an electric shock.
Some people experience the pain constantly while others feel the pain come and go. Most people describe the more severe pain being in their leg compared to their lower back or buttocks. Some may also feel the pain worsen when sitting or standing for long periods.
What Causes Sciatica?
Typically, this condition is caused by a herniated disk, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine), or a bone spur on your spine, and can lead to inflammation, pain, and even some numbness. Although sciatica pain can be severe, most issues can be resolved in just a few weeks without the use of any procedures.
How is Sciatica Diagnosed?
To begin, Dr. Herberg will start by asking you about your medical history and ask if you have had any symptoms lately. Then, you will be asked to perform a simple physical exam where you will be asked to walk, stand on your toes, and possibly perform a straight leg test.
For this test, you will lie on your back with your legs straight out and slowly lift each leg until the pain begins. This allows the doctor to identify the nerves that are causing the pain and whether or not there is an issue with one of your disks.
What Are My Treatment Options for Sciatica?
Depending on the cause of sciatica, many people find that their pain goes away over time with the help of some simple self-care treatments. Here are some more examples of treatment options for sciatica:
- Self-care treatments such as ice/hot packs, OTC meds to reduce inflammation and swelling, and gentle stretches
- Prescription medications such as cyclobenzaprine to relieve the discomfort of muscle spasms
- Physical Therapy
- Spinal Injections
How Do I Prevent Sciatica?
Depending on who you ask, sciatica may or may not be a preventable condition. Although it might not be possible to prevent all cases of sciatica, here are some steps you can take to reduce your chances:
- Maintain good posture
- Don’t smoke
- Exercise and stretch regularly
- Maintain a healthy body weight