If you’ve been diagnosed with sciatica, you have a lot of company. In fact, up to 40% of Americans suffer from this condition at some point.
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve in your lower back becomes irritated and inflamed. This nerve divides into two branches, with one branch traveling down the left leg and the other traveling down the right.
That’s why, in addition to lower back pain, people who have sciatica often experience symptoms — such as pain, tingling, and numbness — in their buttocks and legs, too.
Berkower Pain & Spine Rehabilitation is a leading provider of sciatica treatment for men and women in Pembroke Pines, Florida. David Berkower, DO, and his team use a patient-centered approach to help every patient find long-lasting relief from the pain, tingling, and numbness sciatica can cause. Here’s how he can help you, too.
Relieving sciatica symptoms
Sciatica treatment starts with a physical exam and a thorough evaluation of your symptoms to determine the underlying cause. Your exam provides Dr. Berkower with the information he needs to make sure your treatment is targeted to your needs.
Once Dr. Berkower understands what’s causing your sciatica symptoms, he may recommend a combination of medical and lifestyle options, such as the following:
Often used in combination with anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy can help strengthen your back and your core muscles, the group of muscles that help support your belly and back. Therapy uses stretching techniques combined with strength-building routines to reduce nerve compression and irritation.
Physical therapy activities are completely customizable for your unique symptoms, and your therapy can be changed over time as those symptoms evolve. Frequently, therapy is used in conjunction with medicines to reduce inflammation and pain.
While on-site physical therapy may provide the core of your sciatica treatment, it’s important to maintain those benefits with at-home exercises you can perform between office visits. Our team can prescribe exercises that focus on stretching and flexibility without the need for any type of special equipment.
Being overweight can place a lot of excess strain on your lower back and sciatic nerve, especially if the weight is around your belly, hips, and butt. Research shows that being overweight increases both the risk of developing sciatica and the risk of being hospitalized from the condition.
Losing even a little weight can lessen stress on your lower back, improve your body’s natural biomechanics, and reduce pressure on your sciatic nerve. Furthermore, losing weight can help improve your overall health, too.
While conservative treatments are often enough to relieve painful sciatica symptoms, sometimes they’re not enough. In these instances, Dr. Berkower may recommend injections of pain medicines, anti-inflammatory medicines, or even Botox® to provide targeted, rapid symptom relief.
Injections may be given in the epidural space near your spine or directly into the muscles around your lower back and buttocks. While these injections won’t cure your sciatica, they can reduce painful symptoms so you can engage in physical therapy and at-home exercises.
You don’t have to let sciatica pain take a toll on your quality of life. If you have sciatica or you’re experiencing any type of low back pain, book an appointment online or over the phone with Berkower Pain & Spine Rehabilitation today.