If you have low back pain that radiates through your hips and thighs, or numb, tingling sensations in your legs, you might have sciatica. At his practice serving the Greater Los Angeles area in Sherman Oaks, California, Edward Carden, MD, diagnoses sciatica and provides personalized treatment to alleviate your symptoms and treat the condition causing them. Call Dr. Carden today for expert sciatica treatment.
While many people use the term sciatica as a synonym for lower back pain, it actually refers to a collection of symptoms caused by compression of the largest nerve in your body — the sciatic nerve. Sciatica symptoms include:
Your symptoms can affect either or both of your legs. They can also vary or become more severe with specific movements or positions.
A herniated disc in your lumbar (lower) spine is the most prevalent cause of sciatica. Bone spurs on your vertebra, which usually develop as a result of osteoarthritis, can also compress your sciatic nerve. While less common, a tumor on your spine can also trigger sciatica.
Your risk of sciatica is highest when you’re in your 30s or 40s, although the condition can develop at any time. You’re also more likely to develop sciatica if you’re overweight or lead a sedentary lifestyle. If you have a physically demanding job that requires you to lift or move heavy objects, you might develop sciatica following a lower back injury.
While in some cases, sciatica subsides on its own, you should always consult a doctor if you have sciatica symptoms that don’t go away within a week. Additionally, if you develop sudden and severe symptoms, or if you know you have a specific injury, call Dr. Carden right away.
Dr. Carden can usually identify sciatica by the way you describe your symptoms. However, he also provides exams and diagnostic testing to confirm your condition and locate the nerve compression. For example, during your exam, he asks you to perform a few stretches that are known to compress the sciatic nerve, which can help confirm your diagnosis.
He might also order X-rays or an MRI to identify and locate the injury or condition causing your sciatica. In some cases, Dr. Carden uses electromyography to pinpoint the location of your nerve compression.
Dr. Carden provides customized treatment plans to manage sciatica symptoms. Depending on your needs, he might provide:
He might suggest physical therapy in addition to your pain management treatments for long-lasting sciatica relief.
If you’re concerned about sciatica, call Dr. Carden to make an appointment today.