Will Sciatica Affect Both Legs?
Sciatica refers to any pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve path, from the lower back into the hips, buttocks, and down each leg. This occurs when a bone spur on the spine, a herniated disk, or narrowing of the spine compresses a portion of the nerve. This can cause inflammation, pain, numbness, and shooting pain in the buttocks. Generally, sciatica only affects one side of the body and not both legs. Radiculopathy occurs when nerve roots become pinched or damaged. This occurs as either lumbar or cervical radiculopathy, depending on where the affected nerve root is. While lumbar radiculopathy affects the lower back, cervical radiculopathy can also cause symptoms in the neck.
Some risk factors for sciatica and radiculopathy are age, obesity, prolonged sitting, and some chronic conditions, such as diabetes. This affects the way your body uses blood sugar, which can increase your risk of damage to the nerves. At Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta, Dr. Christopher Williams can treat radiculopathy with sciatica treatment in Atlanta, GA.
Causes of radiculopathy
Radiculopathy is the result of a change or shift in tissues in your spine. When these tissues shift, it can cause pressure on the nerve root. It also can cause narrowing of the area, known as stenosis. Some factors that can lead to narrowing include the thickening of ligaments in the spine, spinal infections, growths, bone spurs, or herniated discs. To diagnose radiculopathy properly, Dr. Williams will conduct a physical exam, imaging tests, or maybe even a nerve conduction study to determine the cause and type of the condition you have.
Once a nerve root is damaged or pinches, it will become inflamed, leading to different symptoms, including:
Tingling or numbness
Stabbing pain in the back or leg
Pain that worsens with everyday tasks
For some patients in Atlanta, GA, their symptoms may be constant, but they may notice times when their symptoms become worse or disappear altogether. During your initial consultation with Dr. Williams, he can evaluate your symptoms to determine the best course of treatment for your health.
Sciatica and radiculopathy treatment
To treat both sciatica and radiculopathy symptoms, the location and cause of the condition have to first be identified. In many cases, conservative approaches, such as medication, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and minimally invasive injections (e.g. platelet rich plasma - PRP), are used first. When these treatments are ineffective, surgery may be recommended to help decompress the nerve root. Dr. Williams can also recommend lifestyle changes that can help resolve symptoms or prevent the condition from occurring again.
Learn more about compression release treatments
When you’re experiencing sciatica and radiculopathy symptoms, a visit to our office can help you learn how to know if you have sciatica. Dr. Christopher Williams at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta releases this compression from the nerve roots to allow space for the pressure. It’s important to seek medical help when you have sudden or severe pain in your lower back or leg, or numbness, or muscle weakness. To learn more about treatment options in Atlanta, GA, call to schedule a consultation today.