Sciatica is a term used to describe pain (shooting or burning sensations), weakness, numbness, or tingling along the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body, which starts in the low back and runs through the buttock and down the back of the leg. These sensations can extend from the origin of the nerve all the way down to the foot or ankle, sometimes even the toes. Sciatic pain worsens with inactivity or extended periods of sitting and is most often caused by a bulging or herniated disc resulting in compression of the nerve. Other possible causes include lumbar stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), piriformis syndrome, or spondylolisthesis (displacement of the vertebra).

The location and severity of symptoms largely depend on where the sciatic nerve is being compressed.  Low back pain may or may not be present with sciatica and the pain can refer to the back or outer aspect of the thigh.

At the Kaplan Center our physicians have years of experience treating patients with chronic pain conditions of the spine, and we completely reject the notion that “you just have to live with it.”

Since sciatic pain is a symptom of an underlying medical condition, determining the root-cause of the pain is the only way to begin the healing process. At your first visit, your Kaplan physician will take time exploring the history of your condition, the specific characteristics of your symptoms and the overall status of your health. You’ll also be asked about the medications and therapies you’ve tried in the past, and what has and hasn’t worked for you. To gather additional information about your condition, specialized diagnostic laboratory and/or radiographic testing may be necessary.

After reviewing all of the factors contributing to your condition, your physician will spend time talking with you about your diagnosis and working with you to create a customized and multi-dimensional treatment plan that addresses not only your immediate pain, but also any possible underlying or co-existing conditions that may be causing or aggravating your symptoms.

We offer a multitude of effective treatment options, including:

Current research shows that patients with sciatica respond well to conservative, non-invasive treatment, however, in some cases additional treatment may be the best option.

We’re here for you, and we want to help. Our goal is to return you to optimal health as soon as possible.

Please call (703) 532-4892 to schedule an appointment, or for more information, please click here.

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