Sciatica

L.A. Pain and Performance Medical Group

Jonathan Levin, MD

Pain Medicine located in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, CA

That sharp, shooting, tingling and debilitating pain emanating from your lower back down through the back of your legs could be sciatica. At L.A. Pain and Performance Medical Group in the Beverly Grove area in Los Angeles, prestigious pain management physician Jonathan Levin, MD, treats sciatica with a selection of impressive treatment methods that can ease or eliminate your pain. Dr. Levin knows that sciatica pain can vary from mild to debilitating and take a toll on your day-to-day life. Get the quality treatment you deserve by calling or scheduling online today.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica (lumbar radiculopathy) refers to a pinched sciatic nerve and leg pain associated with the pressure on or irritation of the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve begins as a cluster of nerve fibers in your lower back. This cluster of nerve fibers snakes through your spinal canal openings and connects to form one large nerve that travels through your pelvic opening and runs below the piriformis muscle.

The nerve splits into two just above your knee and snakes down both legs to your toes.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

When the sciatic nerve is compressed, often as the result of an accident, this can lead to:

  • Debilitating pain shooting down the back of your leg
  • Tight piriformis muscle
  • Poor posture

The most common sciatica symptoms include numbness and pain that spreads from your low back through the upper leg and can sometimes radiate down to your toes and foot; a sharp shooting pain down your leg that seems to happen more frequently with certain movements, and numbing or tingling pain in one or both sides of your leg or buttocks.

Pain that gets worse when you sit and general weakness in your leg are also symptoms of sciatica.

Severe cases of sciatica can lead to a loss of bowel and/or bladder control often requiring emergency spine surgery.

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica is typically caused by:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Herniated disks
  • Muscle spasms
  • Spondylolisthesis (improperly aligned spinal bones)
  • Irritation of the roots of the lumbosacral spine
  • Poor blood supply of the intervertebral discs renders them susceptible to herniation

Certain risk factors can increase your likelihood of getting sciatica. These include: 

  • Sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress
  • Poor lifting technique
  • Being overweight
  • Improper posture
  • Lack of frequent exercise 

Wearing improper shoes that irritate or put pressure on your feet can also cause or worsen sciatica. Certain shoe inserts can help relieve sciatica.

How is sciatica treated?

The first step is an in-depth consultation to discuss your symptoms and concerns and evaluate your health. Dr. Levin devises highly customized treatment plans.

Dr. Levin provides effective treatment of sciatica after clarifying the cause of your sciatica, most often requiring an MRI, and your comfort level. He could recommend: 

  • Heat or cold therapy
  • Posture evaluation
  • Physical therapy
  • Walking
  • Medications
  • Epidural injections
  • Lumbar bracing
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • OrthoPulse® shock wave therapy
  • Stem cell therapy
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
  • Pain-relieving injections
  • Weight loss

Innovative therapies like stem cell therapy provide impressive results and can even stimulate your body’s natural healing process and the regeneration of healthy new cells. These treatments are also convenient and can be done in-office.

During your consultation, Dr. Levin can help you determine the best ways to treat your sciatica pain and get you feeling better as quickly and conveniently as possible. Call L.A. Pain and Performance Medical Group or book your personal consultation online.