If the sciatic nerve becomes inflamed, the condition is called sciatica (pronounced si-at-i-ka). The pain can be intense! It often follows the path of the nerve down the back of the legs and thighs, ankle, foot and toes, but it can also radiate to the back. Along with sharp, burning pains, you may also feel nerve sensations such as pins-and-needles, tingling, prickling, crawling sensations, or tenderness. Ironically, the leg may also feel numb.
To complicate matters, although sciatica pain is usually in the back of the legs or thighs, it can occur in the front or the side of the legs, or even in the hips. Sometimes bilateral sciatica pain occurs in both legs.
The quality of pain may vary. There may be constant throbbing and then may let up for hours or even days. It may be an ache or a stabbing pain. Sometimes postural changes, lying down or changing positions, affect the pain and sometimes they don’t. In severe cases sciatica can cause a loss of reflexes or even a wasting of the calf muscles.
For sciatica sufferers a good night’s sleep may be a thing of the past and simple things like walking, sitting, or standing up can be difficult or impossible.
I take a different approach to the treatment and prevention of sciatica. After a thorough neurological examination I determine which part of the nervous system is not functioning properly and design a treatment plan based on the results.
If you would like to see how I can help you or someone you know, please call my office at 978-369-7070 for an appointment.