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Your sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body, as is made abundantly clear when it’s irritated, causing debilitating pain that often shoots down your leg. At Peninsula Orthopedic Associates, the team of musculoskeletal experts understands the limitations and discomfort of sciatica and works with their patients in Daly City, California, to help them find much-needed relief. To put an end to sciatica, call or fill out the online form to request an appointment.
Sciatica is the name of a condition that arises when your sciatic nerve is irritated or compromised. This large nerve — the largest in your body — originates in your low back and separates and travels down each side of your buttocks and the backs of your legs.
Sciatica is usually caused by a condition in your low back that pinches or compresses the nerve, which can include:
There are also a number of factors that put you more at risk of developing sciatica or a problem in your low back that leads to sciatica, including:
Sciatica is fairly common, affecting 40% of the population in the United States at some point during their lives.
The primary indicator of sciatica is the pain, but how this pain presents itself can be different from one person to the next. In most cases, the pain radiates down one side of your body, but it can be nagging or only come on with certain movements.
As well, you may experience numbness or weakness that radiates down your leg, so pain isn’t always the only signal that your sciatic nerve is compromised.
When you see the orthopedists at Peninsula Orthopedic Associates, the first order of business is to diagnose the underlying problem. Using X-rays and MRIs, your doctor can pinpoint the problem, which usually occurs in your L5 or S1 (fifth lumbar vertebra and first sacral vertebra).
Once your doctor locates the source of the problem, they typically start out conservatively and recommend bed rest, aspirin or ibuprofen, and cold or heat packs. While rest is important, it’s also important that you move around some in order to reduce your inflammation, and your doctor will help you come up with the best physical therapy plan for your situation.
If your sciatica doesn’t respond to conservative treatments after several months, your doctor may explore surgical options, including a surgical removal of the portion of your disc that’s herniated, a procedure that enjoys a high success rate.
If you’re in pain due to sciatica, call Peninsula Orthopedic Associates for relief. Or use the online scheduler to book an appointment.