Sciatica occurs when there is pressure or damage to the sciatic nerve, which controls the muscles at the back of the knee and lower leg and provides sensation to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg and the sole of the foot.
Sciatica pain can vary widely, from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation, to severe pain.
Diagnosing sciatica begins with a physical exam that looks for abnormal or weak reflexes; pain when lifting the leg straight up; difficulty bending the foot inward or down; weak knee bending; or weak foot movement.
If pain is severe or long-lasting, an MRI or other imaging test can be done to view the sciatic nerve and see if it is being compressed.
In many cases, sciatica responds well to self-management techniques, including alternating cold and hot packs, stretching, and over-the-counter pain medications.
If these tools do not reduce the pain, we offer treatment options that include: