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Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center

Spine & Orthopedic Surgeon in Pittsburgh, PA, McKees Rocks, PA, Washington, PA and South Florida, FL

Sciatica, a radiating pain that travels down the leg, is a common condition that affects many people who struggle with chronic back pain. At Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center, Jocelyn Idema, DO, provides expert nonsurgical and surgical treatments to help manage your sciatica pain and restore your mobility. This debilitating condition is thought to affect up to 10% of those suffering from back pain and is often caused by more serious conditions such as spinal stenosis. To learn more, call the office in Pittsburgh, McKees Rocks, and Washington, Pennsylvania, or schedule your consultation online.


What is sciatica?

Sciatica is the term for a type of pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve. This nerve is located in your lower back and travels through your hips and buttocks, all the way down each of your legs.

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica occurs when something pinches or places pressure upon your sciatic nerve. Most often, a herniated disc or bone spur is the cause of compression of the sciatic nerve. Other causes include:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis 
  • Wear-and-tear
  • Cysts or tumors in the spine

In some cases, other medical conditions, such as diabetes, can damage the sciatic nerve.

What are the risks of sciatica?

There are a few factors that can put you at greater risk for developing sciatica. These include:


Your spine becomes more susceptible to bone spurs and herniated discs as you get older.


Certain jobs place greater stress on your back and spine than others. Jobs that require frequent heavy lifting or long periods of sitting are notable culprits.


Any excess weight you carry places additional pressure on your spine, leading to a greater risk of sciatica over time.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

Unlike typical acute or chronic back pain, sciatica pain takes a distinct path along the sciatic nerve. This often causes pain that radiates or travels from your lower back down to your leg.

This pain can feel sharp and sudden or like a dull ache or burning sensation. In particularly severe cases, you might experience numbness or tingling along the sciatic pathway.

How is sciatica treated?

At Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center, Dr. Idema offers both nonsurgical and surgical treatment for sciatica pain depending on the severity of your symptoms. 

Mild cases of sciatica tend to resolve on their own after a few weeks of rest. Mild and moderate cases of sciatica also benefit from non-invasive treatments, such as acupuncture, physical therapy, and epidural injections.

If conventional treatments aren’t providing the desired results, Dr. Idema might recommend minimally invasive procedures such as a microdiscectomy or a laminectomy. By using a minimally invasive method, she ensures you have a quicker recovery and fewer complications.

If sciatica is making life painful, comprehensive care at Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center can help you take back your life. Call to schedule your appointment or book online today.