It’s estimated that up to 40% of adults develop sciatica at some point in their life, a condition that’s easy to recognize by its hallmark pain that radiates from your lower back down your leg. When your pain persists, interventional treatments provided by Humam Akbik, MD, at Cincinnati Comprehensive Pain Center provide effective relief by treating the source of your pain. To learn more about innovative treatment options for sciatica, call the office in Fairfield, Ohio, or use the online form to request a phone call from one of their experienced staff.
Sciatica Q & A
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a group of symptoms associated with the sciatic nerve. The primary symptom is pain that starts in your lower back where the nerve leaves the spine. From there, the pain follows the nerve, radiating down through your buttocks and legs, sometimes reaching as far as your foot. Sciatica usually affects only one side of your body.
What other symptoms develop when I have sciatica?
The intensity of your pain may vary, but sciatica is known for causing severe, electric-like pain. You may find that the pain is worse when you sit, bend, lift, or twist. You may also develop symptoms such as tingling, numbness, a burning sensation, and muscle weakness.
What causes sciatica?
Sciatic nerve pain occurs when the nerve is compressed at the spine. This problem is caused by several conditions, such as:
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Bone spurs
While injuries can lead to sciatica, the culprit is most often aging that causes tissue changes like ligament thickening, disc dehydration, and degeneration.
How is sciatica treated?
Treatment for sciatic nerve pain begins with conservative options such as physical therapy. Prescription muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory pain relievers may help alleviate your pain.
When you continue to experience pain and limited mobility, it’s time to consider specialized interventional therapies provided by Dr. Akbik. These treatments directly treat the nerves carrying pain signals to your brain. When nerve signals are blocked before they get to your brain, you no longer feel the pain.
The following are only a few examples of the many interventional treatments available at Cincinnati Comprehensive Pain Center:
Lumbar epidural steroid injections
Using X-ray imaging to guide the needle, Dr. Akbik injects steroid medication into the epidural space between your spine and spinal cord. The medication flows around the nerves, reducing inflammation and relieving your pain.
Spinal cord stimulator
Dr. Akbik implants a small, battery-operated generator under your skin. The generator is attached to thin, flexible wires that are placed alongside the spinal nerves in your lower back. When the generator is turned on, the wires send mild electrical impulses into the nerves, blocking or masking their pain signals.
Minimally invasive procedures
Dr. Akbik performs numerous minimally invasive procedures that target the underlying causes of sciatica. For example, a herniated disc is treated with a percutaneous disc nucleoplasty. This procedure uses radio waves to dissolve the bulging disc, which eliminates pressure on the sciatic nerve.
In some cases, patients can schedule a same-day appointment with Dr. Akbik, but you’ll need a referral. To schedule an appointment, call Cincinnati Comprehensive Pain Center or complete the online form to request a call from staff.