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Sciatic Nerve Problems

How it relates to back pain, and remedies to explore

Written by Healthy Magazine |

The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that begins in your lower back and runs through your buttock and lower limbs. It is both the longest and widest nerve in the human body.

Unfortunately, this nerve can be the source of a variety of problems, leading to pain, discomfort and general lowering of wellbeing. But many nonsurgical techniques and minimally invasive surgeries are available for those who suffer from this problem.


Sciatica is when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated in some way, which can come from a variety of things. Sometimes a herniated spinal disc compresses this central nerve, causing pain. Degenerative disc disease, lumbar spinal stenosis and piriformis syndrome are other causes.

Coughing, hypertension in the muscles and sneezing can also cause sciatica, as can bone spurs.

Common Symptoms of Sciatica

The feelings you feel from the skin on your legs and the muscles of your back, thighs, legs and feet all come from the sciatic nerve. So pain in all these areas of the body may indicate pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Leg pain is a common symptom of sciatica. Most commonly, leg pain will occur in just one leg, not both. The pain will often begin in the buttock or lower back and then radiate down to the lower limb, sometimes all the way to the foot. The pain is usually sharp rather than throbbing.

The pain might feel worse when standing or sitting still, and may improve when walking or lying down.

Those suffering from sciatica may also feel numbness, tingling and pressure in the lower parts of their bodies. If you feel these symptoms and they persist, it may be time to visit a back or spine specialist.

Minimally Invasive Surgery for Sciatica

Most of the time, surgery isn’t needed for sciatica. The spine doctor will have you perform exercises to relieve pressure on the nerve, and those, along with time, may fix the problem.

But if the pain is severe, and if the patient has lost control of his bladder, more urgent and serious measures need to be taken.

A spine specialist can examine for sciatica through endoscopic means. When a problem is found, minimally invasive endoscopic surgery can be performed to decompress the nerve. In this decompression back surgery, the back surgeon will remove some of the bone or spinal disc material away from the nerve root, giving the nerve a better environment to function and heal.

Article Reviewed: July 26, 2013
Copyright © 2015 Healthy Magazine

Written by: Healthy Magazine Staff

Healthy Magazine has a growing team of talented and informed writers dedicated to keeping readers up to date on health in today's world. Read our latest issues!

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Scott Adelman, MD

Dr. Adelman is the President & Co-founder of The SMART Clinic(TM). The SMART Clinic is staffed full-time by Board Certified Physicians providing a comprehensive diagnostic, management and treatment facility. We are trained extensively to deal with many types of sports, spine, musculoskeletal and occupational injuries. We are also experts in minimally invasive spine surgery, performing endoscopic discectomy.
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