Sciatica Specialist

Stellar Pain and Spine Specialists

Pain Management located in Chicago, IL & River Forest, IL

Pain that begins in your lower back and suddenly shoots down one leg is a sure sign you have sciatica, a condition that’s well-known for causing debilitating pain. The team of doctors at Stellar Pain and Spine Specialists, with locations in the Northside of Chicago and western suburbs, including Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Lake View East, Ukrainian Village, Budlong Woods, Norwood Park West, Bucktown, Andersonville, River Forest, and Oak Park, Illinois, has years of experience alleviating sciatica using today’s most advanced interventional treatments. If you need to find relief from sciatica, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica refers to the hallmark symptom of pain radiating down one leg, a symptom that appears with a pinched, inflamed, or irritated sciatic nerve.

This large nerve leaves the base of your spine, goes through your buttocks, and travels down both legs to your feet. Sciatica develops when the nerve is damaged, either by an injury or more often due to a degenerative condition in the spine.

Spinal conditions that cause sciatica include:

  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Bone spurs

Though it’s not a common cause of sciatica, the condition can occur if your buttock muscles pinch the nerve. When that happens, the condition is called piriformis syndrome.

What symptoms appear if I have sciatica?

The primary symptom is severe, electric-shock pain that begins at your spine and shoots down one leg. Though the severity of your pain may vary, most people describe it as an intense, debilitating pain.

Pinched nerves can also cause sensations such as tingling and burning that travel along the nerve. You could also develop numbness instead of pain. In severe cases, the muscles in your leg and foot can weaken.

Many people find that laying down makes the pain feel better. Unfortunately, everyday activities like bending and twisting trigger the pain or make it worse.

How is sciatica treated?

After reviewing your medical history and symptoms, your Stellar Pain and Spine provider does a thorough physical exam. Depending on the results of your exam, they may order diagnostic imaging such as X-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI to view the structures in your lower spine.

If this is your first round of treatment for sciatica, your provider begins with conservative therapies such as pain medication, physical therapy, and cortisone shots.

When your pain persists despite these treatments, your Stellar Pain and Spine provider talks with you about interventional treatments such as:

  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Facet joint injections
  • Nerve blocks
  • Radiofrequency ablation

Interventional therapies directly target the nerves causing your pain. For example, radiofrequency ablation stops sensory nerves from sending pain signals to your brain, while epidural steroid injections reduce inflammation in the sciatic nerve.

If you struggle with the pain of sciatica, call Stellar Pain and Spine, or schedule an appointment online today.