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X-Ray Results


What is Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is the primary nerve in your leg, extending from your pelvis down the back of each thigh. It is the largest, thickest nerve in the entire body. Sciatica, also known as lumbar radiculopathy, is a pain that originates along your sciatic nerve, often due to some amount of pressure. It can be sudden or gradual, depending on the individual case.

Causes of Sciatica

Pressure on the sciatic nerve can develop because of several conditions. Pregnancy, obesity, and the frequent use of high heels forcing your spine and joint into an unnatural position all can make you more prone to developing Sciatica. Some of the most common causes of sciatica include:

  • Herniated Disc

  • Muscle Spasms

  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

  • Spondylolisthesis

  • Degenerative Disc Disease

It’s important to note that Piriformis Syndrome, a neuromuscular disorder, causes similar symptoms to sciatica. The piriformis muscle extends from your lower spine through the pelvic region to the top of each thigh. If the muscle spasms, it can irritate the sciatic nerve that runs below it.

Symptoms of Sciatica

A classic sign of sciatica is best described as a shooting pain that goes from your lower back and down your leg. It usually affects one leg at a time. However, if the sciatic nerve is being pinched along the spinal column, you can experience pain in both legs. The pain often worsens when you are sitting or lying down and slightly eases as you stand up. Symptoms will vary from person to person depending on how much pressure is on the nerve. Other common symptoms include:

  • Tingling sensation

  • Numbness

  • Problems with muscle control

  • Weakness

  • Reduced mobility

Treating Sciatica

We treat sciatica by relieving pressure on your sciatic nerve, starting with diagnostic image testing. This can reveal what's causing the nerve compression and its severity, helping us to find an effective treatment plan.

Your individualized treatment plan could include some of the following:

  • Massage therapy

  • Physical therapy

  • Stretching exercises

  • Anti-inflammatory medication

  • Low-dose opioids

  • Epidural steroid injections

  • Spinal nerve blocks

For treatment-resistant chronic pain, Ketamine Therapy may be recommended.



At APEX Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, board-certified physician John H. Bissell, M.D., provides a wide variety of treatments for pain management that not only relieves your symptoms but improves the overall health of your afflicted area. If you're struggling to identify the cause and manage your pain, call us to set up an appointment. 

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