Pain that radiates from the back, into the buttock, and into the lower extremity is called sciatica. Sciatic nerve pain is one of the many treatments we offer in our Springfield, MO clinic. The sciatica nerve is the largest nerve in the body and is formed by the combination of numerous nerve roots; much like the Mississippi river is formed by numerous smaller river and tributaries.
Causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain
There are numerous causes of sciatica, which commonly includes disc herniation. However, many other lesions are potential causes. Sciatica can be triggered by any irritation to the nerve along its long course from the spine into the lower extremity.
The following are also causes to consider:
- Irritation to the nerve roots in proximity to the spine
- Referred pain may originate from bony lesions in the spine’s sacroiliac and hip joints
- Delicate nerve tissue demands fresh oxygenated blood. The lack or loss of oxygen can create sciatic-type symptoms
- Functional derangements
Symptoms of Sciatica
Sciatic nerve damage often manifests itself with pain and dysfunction in the lower extremity. We see patients with loss of knee flexion due to hamstring paralysis and loss of all the muscles of the leg and foot. The patient may be unable to stand on their toes or balance on their heels. They may have loss of sensation on the outside and back of the leg and the lateral aspect of the foot. The patient may still have the ability to walk by using other muscles to fill in for the weak ones. The loss of sensation is annoying, and the severe nerve pain is difficult to deal with, but rarely is the patient prevented from walking.
Our patients will have a consultation and examination with the doctor to determine the best course of action to treat the sciatica. We cannot help everyone that visits our office, but we are successful with the vast majority of them.