What is sciatica radiculopathy?

Sciatic nerve pain is a type of radiculopathy where the symptoms occur as a result of nerve compression along the spine. Radiculopathic pain radiates from one part of the body to another. In the case of sciatica, pain can radiate from the lower back into the buttocks, down the legs and even into the feet. This can cause weakness, tingling and numbness. Read on to learn about the number of treatment options for sciatica pain, ranging from conservative methods to surgical procedures.

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Causes of sciatica radiculopathy

Sciatica is generally caused by the natural deterioration of the elements of the spine. This often occurs as part of the aging process, which is why sciatica symptoms are frequently felt by middle-aged and older patients. Some of the most common causes of sciatica and radiculopathy, in general, include the following:

  • Herniated disc, which occurs when a portion of the vertebral disc ruptures pressing on the nerves
  • Degenerative disc disease, which is the gradual degeneration of the discs that normally cushion the spine and keep the vertebrae in their proper positions
  • Spinal stenosis, described as the narrowing of the spinal canal or the foramina, which are the passageways that protect the nerves as they branch out from the spinal cord
  • Osteophytes, which are bone spurs that can cause nerve compression and other forms of soft tissue irritation
  • Osteoarthritis, involving the degeneration of the facet joints that stabilize adjacent vertebrae, resulting in back stiffness, inflamed tissue and nerve compression
  • Injury that is traumatic or sports-related, which leads to a trapped sciatic nerve
  • Disease or infection that can lead to sciatica and radiculopathy

If you are experiencing sciatica symptoms or any other type of radiculopathy, visit a physician for a thorough evaluation and diagnosis.

Treatment for sciatica radiculopathy

Once the origin of your symptoms is known, your doctor can recommend treatment that is specifically tailored to your condition. Sciatica symptoms, including radiculopathy, might respond to conservative treatments, such as heat therapy, pain medication and targeted exercises. At times, however, these conservative measures fail to relieve sciatic pain and surgery may be recommended in these cases.

Minimally invasive spine surgery

At Spine & Orthopedic Center, we offer minimally invasive spine surgery used to treat the most common causes of neck and back pain. Patients with sciatica can find relief thanks to our minimally invasive procedures if a minimally invasive procedure is indeed the recommended treatment.^ If you are interested in finding out more about the minimally invasive spine surgery procedures available at our center, please call us today.

Spine & Orthopedic Center is a leader in minimally invasive and complex spine surgery and has helped thousands of patients for more than a decade find relief from chronic neck or back pain. Our board-certified surgeons can perform either a minimally invasive decompression, stabilization procedures or complex surgeries to treat your sciatica radiculopathy pain, depending on the cause and severity of your condition. To schedule a consultation with one of our spine specialists, call toll free at 888-409-8006.