Sciatica is a prevalent health problem, with about 40% of Americans having the condition at some stage of their lives. If you feel a tingling, numbness, or pain that starts in your buttocks or lower back and spreads down to your leg past the knee, you are probably suffering from sciatica. McNulty, MD, FABSS, FABOS, is a double board-certified and award-winning spine specialist and orthopedic surgeon at McNulty Spine, also known as Las Vegas Neurological Institute, where he provides patients with Las Vegas sciatica services. You do not have to bear the pain; McNulty Spine is here to help.
What is Sciatica?
- Weakness in one or both legs
- Tingling sensations or numbness in one or both of your feet or legs
- Pain that travels down your feet or legs or your buttocks
- Lower back pain
Your pain problems can vary. You might feel little or no pain but have problems of weakness, numbness, and tingling. Most individuals will have problems related to burning pain down their legs.
Causes of sciatica
The sciatic nerve is the most significant nerve in a human’s body. Your body has two of these nerves on each side. It starts with the spinal nerves in the lower lumbar spine and moves down into your hamstring and buttocks. It then divides in the knee area and extends down your feet.
Various injuries and medical conditions can aggravate your sciatic nerve and cause sciatica. A herniated disk in the lower lumbar spine is the most prevalent cause of sciatica. However, the symptoms can also be caused by:
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
The risk for getting sciatica increases when a person is between 30 and 40 years, although it can occur to a person of any age. Being overweight, leading a sedentary lifestyle, or having an occupation that requires you to lift heavy weights regularly also increases the risk of sciatica.
Mostly, the condition just occurs, even to the most healthy people.
At McNulty Spine, patients offer comprehensive physical and medical history examinations to diagnose sciatica and the root causes of the condition.
During the examination, Dr. McNulty will ask you to do some movements that stretch the sciatic nerve. If the maneuvers initiate your symptoms, he knows that your sciatic nerve is under pressure. He can also utilize diagnostic imaging procedures like x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs to identify and trace the specific cause of your condition.
Sciatica treatment depends on the underlying causes of the condition. For instance, you can benefit from spinal injections to minimize physical therapy and inflammation.
However, if your symptoms are severe and do not improve with noninvasive therapies, the team at McNulty Spine can recommend surgical interventions such as limited discectomy to get rid of the piece of a herniated disk, putting pressure on your sciatic nerve, or lumbar laminectomies to broaden your spinal canal. You might also need to undergo a fusion reconstruction, depending on your specific case.
If you are suffering from sciatica symptoms, contact McNulty Spine today for a specialized diagnosis and treatment.