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Sciatica Specialist

Illinois Spine & Scoliosis Center

Spine Surgeons & Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation located in Homer Glen, IL & Woodridge, IL

At least 40% of adults experience a bout with sciatica in their lifetime. For many, that bout turns into a never-ending, debilitating condition. Illinois Spine and Scoliosis Center has helped many people overcome their shooting leg pain and return to an active lifestyle. The practice specializes in physical therapy and conservative treatment, and its board-certified spine surgeons offer advanced minimally invasive procedures to repair the underlying problem. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Homer Glen or Woodridge, Illinois, or use the online booking feature today.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica refers to the symptoms you experience when you have a pinched sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerves leave the spinal cord in your lower back, pass through both sides of your buttocks, and travel down both legs to your feet.

When a spinal problem pinches the nerve, you experience lower back pain, as well as sciatica's well-known symptom: severe pain shooting down one leg.

What causes sciatica?

You could end up with sciatica after straining your lower back or suffering a spinal injury. However, this painful problem frequently develops due to spinal problems such as:

  • Herniated discs (cause 90% of all cases)
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Bone spurs

In rare cases, the sciatic nerve becomes compressed as it passes through your buttocks. Muscles in the buttocks can spasm, pinch the nerve, and cause the same leg symptoms. However, this condition is called piriformis syndrome.

What other symptoms accompany sciatica?

Sciatica typically causes sudden, severe leg pain. However, the pinched nerve may also cause other symptoms in the same leg, such as tingling (pins and needles) or a burning sensation. You could have numbness instead of pain.

In severe cases, you may develop muscle weakness or changes in bladder and bowel function. These symptoms signal a potentially serious problem that needs immediate medical attention.

How is sciatica treated?

Sciatica treatment begins with a conservative approach that includes stretching, physical therapy, and medications to reduce inflammation or relax muscles. The next step in your treatment may include an anti-inflammatory steroid injection or prolotherapy.

Prolotherapy, a type of regenerative medicine, involves an injection of dextrose (sugar), a local anesthetic, and other beneficial substances. The sugar triggers your natural healing response that repairs and regenerates the damaged tissues.

If your symptoms don't improve, your Illinois Spine and Scoliosis Center provider may talk with you about minimally invasive surgery to repair the underlying cause of your pinched nerve. You may need a discectomy to remove a damaged disc or a procedure to get rid of bone spurs.

Your provider may recommend one of the several types of decompression surgery, such as a laminectomy or foraminotomy, to take pressure off the sciatic nerve. After a discectomy or decompression procedure, your provider may insert an artificial disc or bone graft to fuse the vertebrae.

Don't wait to get help for sciatica. Call Illinois Spine and Scoliosis Center or book an appointment online today.