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Sciatica Pain Relief – Sciatica Treatment

    Sciatica symptoms can be debilitating and shouldn’t be underestimated as they can signal a serious underlying problem. Our best-in-class sciatica doctors in New Jersey, including physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, have successfully treated thousands of sciatica patients using cutting-edge diagnostic technologies and time-tested treatment and rehabilitation approaches. We are experts in the minimally invasive treatment of sciatica pain and the most current and advanced surgical procedures to alleviate nerve pressure and provide long-term pain relief. Visit a sciatica diagnosis expert to help restore your health and ensure your return to normal living.


    I’ve been Dr. Ceraulo’s patient for many years now. He’s done a good job at helping me manage my pain so I can avoid surgery as per my request and providing me with a better quality of life for me with my family. I would highly recommend Dr. C!

    Shawn

    What is Sciatica?

    Sciatica (lumbar radiculopathy) is common nerve irritation. The sciatic nerve can produce pain, numbness, and weakness down the leg along the areas innervated by the sciatic nerve. It locates under the piriformis muscle.
    According to PubMed, inflammation and compression are essential for the symptomatic nerve root. Studies indicate that people with physically demanding jobs run a higher risk of lumbar radiculopathy compared to the general population. Experts recommend staying active and using prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

    Background & Anatomy of the Sciatica

    Position the Sciatic Nerve The lumbar spine vertebra is the largest in the body because they carry the most weight, are subject to the most significant amount of stress, and are also most associated with back and leg pain.

    The lowest levels (L4-L5) and (L5-S1) have the most flexion, extension motion stress, and the highest injury rate. The intervertebral discs of these two levels also have the highest rate of disc degeneration and herniation. The L5 vertebra is the most common site of spondylosis and spondylolisthesis. The most common lumbar nerves that get pinched or entrapped are the L4, L5, and S1 levels. Entrapment of these nerves may lead to a condition called Sciatica.

    Nerves exiting the lumbar spine area provide sensation and motor control to the back, buttocks, legs, and down to the foot. Damage or interference with the transfer of information of these nerves can cause neurological problems such as pain, weakness, abnormal sensations, numbness, and changes in spinal reflexes. These symptoms may occur in the back, leg, and down to the foot.

    What Are the Causes of Sciatica?

    Sciatica results from irritation, inflammation, pinching, or compression of a nerve in the lower back. Our sciatica specialists suggest the following as common causes of lumbar radiculopathy:

    • Herniated discs place pressure on the nerve, in addition to inflammation that irritates the nerve.
    • Degenerative joint disease resulting in bony spurs on the facet joints can narrow the intervertebral space placing pressure on the exiting nerve.
    • Trauma or muscle spasms can pressure the peripheral nerve, producing symptoms along with that nerve’s distribution.
    • Degenerative disc disease that results in wear on the intervertebral disc and a reduction in disc height may result in loss of space at the intervertebral foramen compressing on the exiting nerve.
    • Tightness of the piriformis muscle results in compression of the sciatic nerve underlying the muscle.

    Sciatica is especially prevalent in athletes participating in sports that require frequent twisting, bending, or lifting. Contrarily, a sedentary lifestyle can also lead to sciatic nerve compression. Our doctors will locate the precise source of the nerve compression to treat sciatica symptoms properly.

    Sciatica symptoms will occur along the path the sciatic nerve travels. The most common signs are listed below:

    • Pain in the back or radicular to the buttock, into the leg, and extending down behind the knee, to the foot depending on the nerve involved and the severity of the encroachment.
    • Pain and tenderness localized at the level of the involved nerve.
    • Muscle spasm and changes in posture in response to the injury.
    • Pain with excess activity and relief with rest.
    • Pain and tenderness localized at the level of the involved nerve.
    • Loss of motion like the inability to bend backward, move sideways to the affected side, or stand erect for extended periods.
    • Sitting, standing, and walking can be difficult if the irritation is severe.
    • Impairment of normal reflexes in the lower extremity.
    • Numbness tingling may be experienced from the low back to the foot, depending on the affected nerve distribution.
    • Muscle weakness may occur on any muscle that the pinched nerve innervates. Long-term pressure on the nerve can produce atrophy or wasting of that particular muscle.

    If you experience any sciatica signs above, you should not wait any longer and promptly seek medical assistance.

    The top sciatica specialists in New Jersey at Redefine Healthcare have tremendous experience in treating all kinds of sciatica symptoms. We pride ourselves on providing a wide range of treatments to get you out of pain as fast as possible.

    How Is the Condition Diagnosed?

    Our doctors have immaculate training in determining the precise cause of mild to excruciating sciatica pain. Sciatica diagnosis begins with a review of your complete medical history. It includes an examination of the following factors:

    • The locations of your pain
    • Pain level
    • Whether you have had any recent injuries

    Additionally, it’s essential for your doctor who treats sciatica pain to understand what makes the condition better and worse, as well as when and how it first appeared.

    The next step is the physical examination. It involves testing your muscle strength and reflexes. Your healthcare provider can also ask you to perform some moving exercises and sciatica stretches. These exercises will help determine the activities that cause more pain.

    • MRIs to determine any soft tissue involvement, including visualization of the discs, spinal cord, and nerve roots
    • CT scans can give a cross-section view of the spinal structures
    • X-rays to determine any joint degeneration, fractures, bony malformations, arthritis, tumors, or infection present.
    • Spinal X-rays (regular X-rays are not able to provide a complete view of sciatic nerve damage)
    • CT Myelograms involve an injection of a special dye into your spine to help create clearer pictures of your nerves and spinal cord

    A correct diagnosis is essential to achieving the best treatment for sciatica. Additional diagnostic tests may be required if the symptoms are exceptionally severe and don’t subside with rest.

    Sciatica Treatment

    Sciatica pain treatment will depend on the condition’s severity and the nerve damage’s underlying cause. Our pain doctors can determine the most appropriate pain relief option based on how the body heals and responds.

    When treating acute back problems, you can make use of the following recommendations:

    • Rest. Avoid the activities that produce the pain (bending, lifting, twisting, turning, bending backward, etc.).
    • Anti-inflammatory drugs and other sciatic nerve pain medications.
    • Apply ice in acute cases to the lumbar spine to help reduce pain and associated muscle spasms. Apply ice right away and then at intervals for about 20 minutes at a time. Do not apply directly to the skin.
    • An exercise regiment designed specifically to address the cause of the symptoms associated with sciatica and improve joint mobility, spinal alignment, posture, and range of motion.
    • Steroidal medication to reduce inflammation in moderate to severe conditions.
    • Lumbar nerve or epidural injections.
    • Physical therapy for back and disc problems must remain conservative at the beginning to avoid aggravating the condition. Your therapist should emphasize rest, reducing inflammation, and increasing blood circulation for healing. Once the initial inflammation decreases, you should start a program of stretching and strengthening to restore flexibility to the joints and muscles involved while improving the strength and stability of the spine. Each program will be based on the structure causing the problem and its symptoms. A program not tailored to the specific problem may aggravate symptoms.

    If the problem persists, consult with your local pain management health care provider of Redefine Healthcare in New Jersey. Our physician will perform a thorough evaluation to determine the possible cause of your symptoms, the structures involved, the severity of the condition, and the best course of treatment.

    In the case of conditions that do not respond to conservative care, surgery may be necessary. Some of the symptoms that may warrant a surgical intervention include:

    • Increase in radiating or radicular pain
    • Pain or nerve irritation that gets worse
    • Weakness with muscle atrophy
    • Associated disc involvement

    Surgery may be necessary to release entrapment and remove the degenerative changes that compromise the nerve. Surgical procedures to address the structures that contribute to the compression of the nerve roots of the sciatic nerve include:

    • Endoscopic Decompression
    • Endoscopic Foraminotomy
    • Percutaneous Decompression
    • IDET Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy
    • Selective Endoscopic Discectomy
    • Spinal Cord Stimulator
    • Epidural Lysis of Adhesions
    • Laser Facet Arthrotomy

    The team of physicians led by Dr. Freeman, the best pain relief doctor, can determine the accurate diagnosis and establish the correct sciatica pain care and rehabilitation plan.

    Medications to Consider

    Our pain relief doctors of pain management clinics in New Jersey may recommend several medication options individually or reduce the pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms that relate to sciatic nerve irritation.

    • Over-the-counter medications for mild to moderate pain.
    • If over-the-counter medications are not effective, your physician may prescribe stronger pain medication.
    • Anti-inflammatory drugs or prescription NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to reduce inflammation following acute injury.
    • Muscle relaxers to reduce acute muscle spasms.
    • Injections like facet injections, nerve blocks, or an epidural. These may involve the injection of corticosteroids to a specific structure to reduce local inflammation.

    Sciatica Risk Factors

    Because sciatica is a reasonably common condition, there are several risk factors you should remember. Sciatica risk factors include:

    • Sitting for prolonged periods;
    • Age: As you age, your spine goes through changes that may include a herniated disk or bone spurs that can cause sciatica;
    • Diabetes: This disease increases your risk of nerve damage;
    • Obesity: Extra weight adds pressure to your spine, which may lead to sciatica.

    Sciatica Prevention

    Although total prevention is not always possible, you can reduce your risk of sciatica by doing the following.

    1. Exercise: Getting regular daily movement can help strengthen your spine and prevent sciatica.
    2. Posture: Maintain good posture by keeping your spine straight but relaxed and your feet hip-distance apart and on the floor.
    3. Use good body mechanics: If you lift something heavy, make sure you bend at your knees and maintain a straight back. If you stand for long periods, make sure to periodically switch off your weight from foot to foot. And don’t lift anything too heavy alone.

    What to Expect After Sciatic Nerve Pain Treatment?

    If you choose sciatic surgery, your pain should be relieved relatively quickly. Your doctor may order that you rest for 24 hours. The doctor gives each patient-specific instructions for their recovery based on their individual needs.

    What Is the Most Effective Pain Relief for Sciatica?

    Standing up and moving your body is the most effective way to relieve sciatica pain. While you may be in pain, laying down for an extended period weakens the muscles. You don’t have to do strenuous exercises, but try going for a short walk or simply standing up.

    You can also try using hot or cold packs to relieve sciatica pain. For a new injury, cold is usually preferable, while you may use heat after 72 hours.

    You may also choose to treat your pain with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen. If these do not relieve your pain, consult your doctor about prescription muscle relaxers or nerve pain medication.

    Redefine Healthcare’s best-in-class doctors for sciatica pain are honored to provide you with highly personalized and comprehensive care. Our least invasive, most effective treatment options based on the latest research and techniques have earned us a reputation as one of the most trusted and respected practices in Union, Edison, Paterson, Freehold, Bloomfield, West Orange, Bayonne, and West Caldwell, NJ. Please contact our pain management physicians as soon as possible to discuss your individual sciatica problem and begin the road to recovery.


    I absolutely love going into this office. From the moment you walk in until the moment you walk out, everyone is extremely caring and helpful. Dr. Freeman and his staff are attentive to their patients and provide excellent care to each individual. They treat each patient with kindness and compassion. Thank-you to all who work in this office! You guys are all the best!!

    Alexia

    Page Updated on Nov 9, 2022 by Dr. Freeman (Pain Management Specialist) of Redefine Healthcare Dr. Eric D. Freeman

    Dr. Eric D. Freeman is a top-rated, best-in-class pain management doctor. He is a nationally recognized pain relief specialist and is among the top pain care doctors in New Jersey and the country. He is an award-winning expert and contributor to prominent media outlets.

    Dr. Eric D. Freeman has been recognized for his thoughtful, thorough, modern approach to treating chronic pain. He has been named a “top pain management doctor in New Jersey” and one of “America’s Top Physicians” for advanced sports injury treatments.

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