Sciatica Specialist

Alpine Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Bozeman, MT

Your pain may not be quite as severe, but most people easily recognize sciatica by the excruciating pain that radiates down their leg. The board-certified physicians at Alpine Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Bozeman, Montana, have extensive experience helping patients get relief from their pain and overcome sciatica. If you’re ready to get back to the life you enjoy, call the office or request an appointment online today.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica refers to the symptoms that develop because of damage, irritation, or inflammation of the sciatic nerve. The problem usually occurs in the spinal cord, where an injury or degenerative condition in the spine pinches the nerve.

Though not as common, buttocks muscles can also compress the sciatic nerve as it travels from the spine down through your buttocks and legs. When that happens, you have a condition called piriformis syndrome.

What conditions cause sciatica?

Though a sports injury or fall can damage the nerve and cause sciatica, this problem most often develops due to a condition in your spine, such as:

  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Bone spurs

A herniated disc is by far the most common reason people develop sciatica.

What symptoms develop if I have sciatica?

The sciatic nerve leaves the bottom of your spine, splits, and travels down the length of your left and right legs. Sciatica usually affects one side, causing its hallmark symptom of pain that shoots down your leg.

The pain begins at the spine, and then waves of pain suddenly radiate down your leg. Most people experience a debilitating, electric-shock type of pain, but your pain may not be as severe. 

You may also feel other sensations along the nerve, such as tingling and burning. In severe cases, you can develop numbness instead of pain and muscle weakness in your leg and foot.

Your pain may bother you most of the time, or it could come and go. Laughing, sneezing, coughing, bending, and twisting tend to make the pain worse. Lying down usually helps you feel better.

How is sciatica treated?

Your provider at Alpine Orthopedics and Sports Medicine develops a treatment plan based on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying condition. Your treatment may include one or more of the following:

  • Lifestyle changes to prevent flare-ups
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Physical therapy
  • Interventional procedures

Interventional procedures ease your pain by directly treating the nerve. For example, during an epidural steroid injection, your provider places the medication in the space along the spinal cord and next to the nerve. The steroids then reduce nerve inflammation.

You don’t need to keep suffering from sciatica. Call Alpine Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, or request an appointment online today.