Sciatica What Causes It

Sciatica Treatment

Sciatica is a very common problem that actually indicates an underlying health condition — usually related to some type of lower back problem. If you’re suffering from sciatica, you may experience pain that comes and goes or pain that is chronic and very severe.

What You Need to Know About Sciatica

Sciatica refers tom of an underlying condition, such as a lumbar herniated disc or spinal stenosis.

The pain from sciatica may range from annoying and infrequent toms occur when the sciatic nerve — the largest nerve in the body — is compressed or irritated.

Sciatica Symptoms

There are many symptoms of sciatica:

  • Sharp pain that makes it hard to walk or stand straight
  • Numbness, weakness, or trouble moving your leg
  • Pain that gets worse when you sit
  • Constant or frequent pain in one side of your leg or buttock
  • Leg pain that feels like a tingling or burning sensation rather than a dull muscle ache

You may also experience pain in the lower back with the leg pain, although the leg pain is usually much more severe. The sciatic nerve pain usually only affects one side of the lower body with pain that radiates from the lower back down the back of the thigh, although it’s possible tocks or legs.

The symptoms also depend on where the nerve root is compressed. The sciatic nerve has two nerve roots exiting the lumbar spine (L4 and L5) and three exiting the sacral segment (S1, S2, and S3).

S1 nerve root pain usually affects the outer areas of the foot and toe and ankle which may cause foot drop.

What Causes Sciatica?

The most effective way to compression of the sciatica nerve. Most of these conditions involve lower back problems.

Lumbar Herniated Disc

A herniated disc results when the soft core of the disc herniates (leaks) through the harder outer core. Herniated discs — also called pinched nerves, ruptured discs, bulging discs, or slipped discs — can be very painful. While sciatica is the most common symptom of a herniated disc, you may also experience unexplained muscle weakness and pain that gets worse Sciatica_Sciatica_after standing.

Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

This condition is actually caused by a small stress fracture which allows one vertebra to a pinched sciatic nerve.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) isn’t actually a disease but rather a natural part of aging due to irritation of a nerve root and sciatica.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal. Spinal stenosis of the lumbar region occurs naturally with aging and it’s a common cause of chronic sciatica pain in people over 60.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

If the sacroiliac joint at the bottop of the foot and weakness of the foot.

Piriformis Syndrome

There are many places at which the sciatic nerve can become irritated, including under the piriformis muscle of the butto sciatica.

Sciatica Treatment

Chronic sciatica pain can be treated effectively with non-surgical remedies to non-invasive treatment options.

The goal of non-surgical sciatic nerve pain treatment is relieving the pain and treating the underlying cause of the compressed nerve root. Most cases of sciatica can be resolved in a few weeks with treatment at a rehabilitation center.

Common sciatic nerve pain treatment includes pain medication and epidural steroid injections to improve spinal column alignment that addresses the underlying cause of the pain or weakness.

Sciatica Treatment at NYDNRehab

At NYDNRehab, sciatic nerve pain is treated by addressing the underlying cause. The clinic focuses on non-invasive approaches, including the use of the C.A.R.E.N system. C.A.R.E.N, or Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment, is a virtual reality system that creates a multi-sensory experience to record data about back pain, posture, spinal stability, and other information that can better diagnose the problem and allow for more precise physical therapy.

NYDNRehab believes that sciatica requires fast and effective treatment to correct body alignment.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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