Los Angeles’ Premier Pain Management Specialists located in Santa Monica, CA.

Sciatica Specialist

California Pain Medicine Center -  - Pain Management Specialist

California Pain Medicine Center

Pain Management Specialists located in Santa Monica, CA

Pain that starts in your lower back and shoots down one leg could well be due to sciatica. If you have symptoms of sciatica, the experienced team at California Pain Medicine Center in Santa Monica, California, can help. They offer a range of non-invasive physical therapies and cutting-edge solutions like minimally invasive lumbar decompression (mild®) to resolve sciatica pain. To benefit from the team’s expertise, call California Pain Medicine Center today or book an appointment online.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica (lumbar radiculopathy) is a painful condition caused by pressure or irritation of the sciatic nerve in your back.

The sciatic nerve travels from the lower lumbar region at the bottom of your spine and passes into your pelvis, where it divides into two. One branch of the nerve then goes down each leg to your foot.

Although sciatica comes from nerve compression in your lower back, the pain is typically worse in your buttock and leg. The pain is likely to increase when you’re sitting down or lying in bed, then eases off when you get up. In addition to pain, you might experience:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Reduced mobility

Severe sciatica can sometimes lead to incontinence of your bladder or bowel, although this is quite rare.

What causes sciatica?

Pressure on your sciatic nerve often comes from a herniated disc. Discs are spongy pads that sit between your vertebrae, cushioning them from impact. If the disc’s outer shell gets damaged or weakens, the inner core can push its way out and start pressing on the spinal nerves. 

Other possible causes of sciatica include:

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pregnancy

You’re more likely to develop sciatica if you’re obese, and wearing high heels that force your skeleton into an unnatural position increases the risk of sciatic nerve compression.

How is sciatica treated?

The team at California Pain Medicine Center focuses on relieving pain and other sciatica symptoms by taking the pressure off of your sciatic nerve. To achieve this, they perform a comprehensive physical exam and look at the results of diagnostic imaging tests like X-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI scan.

Therapies that might feature in your personalized sciatica treatment plan include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Anesthetic and neurolytic nerve blocks
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Ketamine infusions
  • Neuromodulation
  • Spinal cord stimulation

For many patients, conservative treatments are effective in reducing inflammation and pain. However, if your sciatica is due to a disc problem, the California Pain Medicine Center team can perform minimally invasive lumbar decompression (mild®). This involves relieving the pressure on the sciatic nerve without the need for surgery.

For expert treatment of your sciatica, call California Pain Medicine Center today or book an appointment online.