What is Sciatica?
Pain or numbness traveling down the leg and sometimes into the foot along the sciatic nerve is referred to as Sciatica.
Long ago, doctors mistakenly thought sciatica was caused by the compression of a “pinched nerve.” Even today, incorrect websites depict compression of a nerve by a disc. That’s wrong. Although nerve compression may occur, the symptoms of pain, numbness or weakness are caused by inflammation or the disc’s center gel through the annual tears It’s liquid leaking through the disc tears that causes inflammation and symptoms known as sciatica and not “mechanical” pinching of the nerve.
That’s why sciatica symptoms typically increase and decrease, and may be affected by activity, because its a liquid that leaks with variability. If symptoms were due to nerve compression from a disc or bone spur, they would be constant and not variable.
Different Causes of Sciatica & Resulting Problems
Sciatica can be a debilitating indication, but it is usually secondary to other issues. These could be many different reasons, but the six main reasons for 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 out of bed some days. Sciatic pain could stop you from traveling or driving. One can see the problems and causes of this indication are varied and many.
There are methods to prevent this from ever happening, and the Discseel® procedure is one of the most promising new biologic 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; most times below the knee. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Below are just some of Sciatica’s 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/regenerative treatment, very few of these options 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 sciatica is found, steps to reverse the damage can be made. In the Discseel® Procedure, the unique biological 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!