Sciatic Nerve Pain
Sciatic nerve pain is usually a result of the nerve root irritation and apart from pain it also leads to numbness and tingling. The sciatic nerve passes all the way down through the buttocks and then extends to the ankle and foot through the back of the leg. This nerve is formed initially from the nerve roots that are coming out of the spinal cord in the lower back.
The most common cause of this problem is a herniated disc. A ruptured disc leads to the spine pressing against the nerve roots which in turn causes pain. Apart from this, sciatica can also be an indication of serious spinal disorders like bone spurs and spinal stenosis. In extremely rare cases, sciatica may indicate conditions like pregnancy or tumors that are not related to the spine.
Sciatica surgical procedures are only considered only when the pain is extremely severe and does not show any improvement within six to twelve weeks even after regular non-surgical treatment, like physical therapy. Patients who need sciatica-related surgery generally receive one of two types of surgery. These two surgical procedures are:
- Lumbar Laminectomy
Lumbar Laminectomy: This surgery is often considered in cases where sciatica is caused by lumbar spinal stenosis. In this surgical procedure, part of the disc material or bone is removed that is compressing or putting pressure on the nerve root.
Microdiscectomy: This is a minimally invasive surgery done with the help of a surgical microscope. This surgery is often performed on patients suffering from lumbar disc herniation.
Alternative Sciatica Treatments
Alternatives to surgery include heat/ice compression, pain medications, epidural steroid injections, chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture, massage therapy, and exercise programs.