05 Feb Common Causes of Radicular Pain or Sciatica
At Integrated Pain Consultants, radicular pain, also known as Sciatica, is one of the most common complaints of patients. Aptly named, this back pain “radiates” from the lower back down the leg. The cause can vary, but one of the most common is when lumbar spinal stenosis is present. This is an otherwise harmless growth in the bone and/or tissue that can squeeze and bother the nerves that branch away from the spinal cord. We also invite you to learn more about Dr. Nikesh Seth and other providers including Dr. Anne-Marie Cosijns, Dr. Lisa Sparks, Dr. Michael Givens, and our team of Nurse Practitioners.
Treatment For Sciatica Pain
Treatment can include steroid injections, spinal cord stimulation, medication management, or a combination of all four. However, pinpointing the cause of the pain is the first step towards pain management. A herniated disc can cause Sciatica, which happens when the tissue between vertebrae in the back bulges out and pinches the nerve. You may hear a herniated disc called a ruptured, bulging, slipped, or protruding disc, too. A herniated disc’s number one symptom is Sciatica.
Another common cause of Sciatica is degenerative disc disease. Almost all adults have this to some degree. It happens with age as well as excessive wear of the spine. When the inner cells of the disc get irritated, bone spurs can also occur. Both can irritate the nerve and cause Sciatica.
There’s also isthmic spondylolisthesis, or a tiny stress fracture that causes the vertebra to move forward over another vertebra. Sciatica may be caused by lumbar spinal stenosis, which happens when the spinal canal is narrowed due to the aging process. This is most typically found in patients over the age of 60 and may be caused by facet joints or soft tissue over-growing. It’s typically paired with arthritis in the spine.
Piriformis syndrome can bother the sciatic nerve if the piriformis muscle pinches the nerve as it runs against it. This isn’t true Sciatica, but the symptoms can feel identical. Finally, there’s sacroiliac joint dysfunction. When the sacroiliac joint at the base of the spine is irritated, it can lead to pain that feels like Sciatica. Like piriformis syndrome, it’s not genuine Sciatica.
Understanding the cause of Sciatica (or what feels like Sciatica) is essential for proper treatment. Schedule your appointment online with Integrated Pain Consultants today. Call (480) 626-2552 to get started.