Sciatica, like all other back pain issues, is often caused by annular tears. When spinal discs leak as a result of these tears, inflammation of adjacent spinal nerves can lead to sciatic nerve pain. The Discseel® Procedure is the only way to heal these annular tears that cause sciatica.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica, also known as radiculopathy, is not caused by pinched nerves. Instead, it is actually caused by inflammation of the nerve roots resulting from leaky discs. Inflammation occurs because the inner portion of the spinal disc (nucleus pulposus) is perceived as a foreign substance by the human body when it leaks through annular tears and onto nerve roots. Research shows that chemicals from torn leaky discs may also cause fatigue, depression, and limited function.
Sciatica is best diagnosed through a patient’s medical history and a physical exam. The physical exam has a better ability to identify sciatica when compared to MRI, EMG, and discograms combined.
Different Causes of Sciatica & Resulting Problems
Sciatica can be a debilitating condition, but it is usually secondary to other issues. These could be many different reasons, but the main causes of sciatica are as follows:
- Lumbar Herniated Disc – sciatica is the most common symptom
- Degenerative Disc Disease – bone spurs usually develop from this disease, and in turn create more problems
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – due to a narrowing of the spinal canal and usually happens along with spinal arthritis
- Isthmic Spondylolisthesis – which is when a small stress fracture allows one vertebral body to slip forward onto another
- Piriformis Syndrome – sciatic nerve can get irritated as it runs under the piriformis muscle in the buttock
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction – located at the bottom of the spine, irritation of the sacroiliac joint can also irritate the L5 nerve
There are more causes such as pregnancy, tumor or infection that are less common. It is important to consult with a physician if you feel these types of pain may apply to you.
If left untreated, whatever is causing sciatica may worsen. Nerve damage may occur if a pinched nerve is left untreated for too long. More serious complications can arise such as bilateral sciatica (which can cause paralysis). The pain may be debilitating to the point where you cannot go to work or even get out of bed some days. Sciatic pain could even stop you from traveling or driving.
There are methods to prevent this from ever happening, and the Discseel® procedure is one of the most promising treatments available.
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Symptoms of Sciatica
Due to the variable nature of sciatic pain, a wide range of symptoms may arise. Similar to herniated discs, sciatic pain is worse in, and radiates to, the legs, usually below the knee. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Below are some of sciatica’s most common symptoms:
- Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg
- Pain that originates in the low back or buttock and continues along the path of the sciatic nerve – down the back of the thigh and into the lower leg and foot
- Pain that feels better when lying down or walking, but worsens when standing or sitting
- Pain typically described as sharp or searing, rather than dull
- A “pins-and-needles” sensation, numbness or a prickling sensation down the leg
- Weakness or numbness when moving the leg or foot
- Severe or shooting pain in one leg, making it difficult to stand up or walk
- Pain and other symptoms in the toes, depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected
Other symptoms are more unique to particular kinds of sciatica. The two nerve roots which exit the spine (L4 and L5) and begin the nerves in the legs have their own associated problems.
Why the Discseel® Procedure for Sciatica is the best option
Over the years there have been many treatments for the pain associated with sciatica. Most patients get better in a few weeks through methods usually available at home, but if the pain is more than mild and does not go away in a few weeks, more drastic treatments may be necessary. Non-surgical options include:
- Physical therapy, to stretch and exercise the particular muscle and bone group as well as improve posture and remove pressure
- Short exercise, such as short walks to reduce inflammation
- Bed rest with a firm mattress
- Hot and cold packs, alternating for 20 minutes maximum
- Medicine, including pain medication
The problem with these methods is that none are guaranteed to work, and if someone truly needs restorative or regenerative treatment, these options do not offer anything restorative.
Enter the Discseel® Procedure.
Treating Sciatica with the Discseel® Procedure is a quick decision followed by a quick incision. Once the location causing the sciatic pain is found, steps to reverse the damage can be made. In the Discseel® Procedure, the unique biologic therapy is applied to wherever cartilage or bone may need to be repaired near the sciatic nerve. Regardless of where the procedure is performed, most patients are up and walking in 24 hours!