Sharp, shooting pain down one leg is often a sign of sciatic nerve compression or sciatica. If your symptoms indicate you have this condition, Dr. Barry F. Faust, Jr. can help. At his practice, Faust Interventional Pain in Metairie, Louisiana, Dr. Faust uses conservative therapies and advanced interventions to relieve pain and other sciatica symptoms. To find out how he can help you, go online to schedule a consultation or call Dr. Faust’s office today and book an appointment. The practice sees patients from New Orleans, Slidell, Metairie, and the surrounding areas.(504) 264-9530
Faust Interventional Pain
Barry F. Faust Jr., MD
Interventional Pain Medicine located in Metairie, LA
Sciatica Q & A
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a type of lumbar radiculopathy. That means it’s due to nerve damage or compression in your lower (lumbar) spine.
When you have sciatica, the sciatic nerve is the one under pressure. This large nerve has its roots in your lumbar spine, and it descends into your pelvis and splits into two. One branch then goes down the length of each leg to your foot.
What symptoms does sciatica cause?
In most patients, sciatica affects just one leg, although it can occur in both. This causes a shooting pain to travel from your lower back, through your hip or buttock, and into your leg. The pain might go all the way to your foot or stop higher up.
Sitting for long periods and violent movements like coughing and sneezing can make sciatica pain much worse. You might also experience tingling, numbness, or “pins-and-needles” sensations in your buttock and leg and find that the affected leg feels weak.
What might cause sciatica?
Sciatica develops if something starts pressing on the sciatic nerve or pinching it. The most common reasons for this occurring are spinal conditions such as:
- Herniated discs
- Bone spurs
- Spinal stenosis
- Spinal tumors
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal trauma
Pregnancy and obesity increase your risk of sciatica as they place extra pressure on your spine and nerves.
To find out what’s causing your sciatica, Dr. Faust examines your back and legs and discusses your symptoms with you. Diagnostic imaging tests such as X-rays or an MRI or CT scan can confirm the diagnosis and help identify the area of nerve compression.
What treatments can help with sciatica?
Some people find that sciatica improves over time, as long as they avoid activities that aggravate the condition and exercise gently. If you’re finding it hard to cope with the pain, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help, and hot and cold compresses also reduce pain and inflammation.
If your sciatica doesn’t improve or instead gets worse, Dr. Faust offers some effective treatments, including:
- Medications like muscle relaxants
- Physical therapy
- Nerve blocks (which also aid diagnosis)
- Radiofrequency ablation
Leaving irritated or compressed nerves can result in permanent damage, so don’t wait too long before contacting Dr. Faust for help. Call Faust Interventional Pain today and schedule a consultation, or book an appointment using the online scheduling service.