Your sciatic nerve runs down from your lower back before dividing and extending down both of your hips, buttocks, legs, and feet. When your sciatic nerve suffers excessive pressure, you experience distinctive pain in your lower back, radiating into your legs.
The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc in the lower portion of your spine. When your spinal discs become injured or worn down, the soft inner portion can herniate, or protrude, out through the rigid outer ring, placing pressure on your sciatic nerve.
Some people find relief through self-care efforts, including a combination of ice and heat, over-the-counter pain relievers, and regular physical activity. Some, however, may need more aggressive treatment.
Epidural steroid injections are one way to treat sciatica. These injections use a blend of anti-inflammatory steroid medications, saline, and an anesthetic to provide fast pain relief. Dr. Kline carefully administers them into the epidural space of your spine.
Selective nerve root injections, or blocks, are an excellent diagnostic tool to zero in on the exact nerves causing your pain. These injections work by delivering a blend of steroids and numbing agents to the root of the nerve that is causing pain. Selective nerve root injections can also provide temporary pain relief while Dr. Kline explores long-term treatment options.
For some people, spinal cord stimulation is an effective treatment for sciatica and other types of lower back pain. The process involves a surgically implanted series of electrodes, leads, and a generator.
The generator sends pulses of electrical current to the nerves that are causing your pain. It interrupts the ability of the nerve to transmit pain signals to your brain, reducing your pain levels.
The process may sound like science fiction, but it’s currently in use around the nation, with more than half of patients who try the system reporting improvements in pain reduction and daily functioning.
Dr. Kline can perform a spinal cord stimulation trial to determine if permanent implantation is the best treatment for your condition. If it is, he will refer you to a spinal surgeon.
To explore these and other sciatica treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kline as soon as possible.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!