Is Surgery the Quickest Path to Sciatica Pain Relief?

If irritated or pinched, the sciatica nerve, like any other nerve in the body, can create pain, lack of feeling, or immobility. And usually, when nerve pain exists, there is an existing spinal medical condition that is causing the issue. That’s why seeking treatment when experiencing back or nerve pain is essential to keep symptoms from worsening.
However, a sciatica nerve specialist will tell you that surgery is performed as a last resort when all other treatment options have failed. That’s why you must understand what sciatica pain is and if there are other treatment options you can apply besides surgery to relieve your pain and symptoms. NJ Spine & Orthopedic can help you determine the best course of treatment to help relieve your sciatica pain.

What Is the Sciatica Nerve?

The sciatica is the largest nerve in the body. There are two sciatica nerves on each side of the body, running from the lower spine, through the hips, and down to each of your legs and feet. The sciatica plays a significant role in the function and sensation of the legs.  

This nerve provides motor functions to the hamstrings and the pivotal muscles in the back of the knee and the lower leg. It also supplies sensation to the back of the thigh, a portion of the lower leg, and the bottom of the foot. The sciatica nerve should not be confused with the cauda equina nerve roots, which are located at the lower end of the spinal cord. 

Understanding Sciatica Pain and Symptoms

Sciatica symptoms can come in all forms when you cough, sneeze, bend forward or backward, or sit or stand still for long periods. Even straining during a bowel movement can produce pain. Symptoms may present with a dull ache in the lower back or with radiating, sharp pains in the buttocks or down one leg. Other symptoms may include moderate leg cramping, tingling, burning sensations, muscle weakness, and numbness. 

Usually, there is an underlying cause that irritates or pinches the sciatica nerve. Conditions contributing to sciatica may include:

Any bone, disc, or muscle deformity caused by these conditions can contribute to sciatica by touching or compressing the nerve. If symptoms persist for months, you should start treatment for these underlying causes to avoid further or permanent damage.

When to Seek Treatment for Sciatica Pain

Sometimes, sciatica may resolve itself. However, if symptoms last for three months or longer, you may want to seek the advice of a spinal doctor. If the condition causing the sciatica nerve symptoms remains untreated, it can eventually cause irreparable chronic pain, numbness, weakness, or loss of motor control over the legs because of a permanently damaged nerve.

Is Surgery the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Sciatica Pain?

Surgery is not necessarily the quickest path to sciatica pain relief. The treatment approach for sciatica depends on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. In most cases, sciatica pain can be effectively managed and relieved through non-surgical treatments such as:

  • Rest and activity modification
  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Heat or cold therapy
  • Epidural steroid injections

Surgery is typically considered when conservative treatments have been ineffective or if there is a severe underlying condition causing the sciatica symptoms, such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. It is important to note that surgery is not always the first-line treatment for sciatica, and it is typically reserved for cases where conservative measures have failed or when there is a significant neurological deficit.

The decision to undergo surgery should be made in consultation with a qualified healthcare professional who can assess the individual’s specific condition and determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

Make an Appointment With the Sciatica Experts at NJ Spine & Orthopedic for Relief

Consult the NJ Spine & Orthopedic sciatica nerve specialists if you are experiencing radiating pain in the back, leg, or both. We can help see if a spinal condition is causing pressure or pinching of the sciatica nerve. 

The doctors specializing in sciatica nerve health at NJ Spine & Orthopedic can provide the right course of treatment depending on the severity of the problem causing your sciatica pain. If you’re experiencing back or nerve pain but don’t know what is causing it or how to relieve it, call us at (866) 553-0612 or complete our contact form.

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