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Alleviate Pain

Raviinder S. Parmar, MD

Pain Management Physician located in St Petersburg, FL

Sciatica causes radiating pain from your lower back that runs down your buttock and lower leg, and it can seriously affect your ability to perform daily activities. Pain medicine specialist Raviinder S. Parmar, MD, offers treatment to relieve you of this nagging, intense pain at his practice, Alleviate Pain. If you live in Pinellas Park, Florida, or the surrounding area and have sciatic pain, call the office or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica usually affects just one side of your body, not both. It occurs when one of the large sciatic nerves is compressed or irritated. Signs of sciatica include:

  • Pain that shoots down your leg and is tingling or burning
  • Pain that worsens when sitting
  • Weakness or numbness in the leg, foot, and toes

Severe sciatica can make standing and walking painful, too.

What causes sciatica?

A common cause of sciatica is a bulging or herniated disc that presses against the sciatic nerve. You may also suffer sciatica due to spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) or bone spurs. A tight muscle that lies deep in the hip, called the piriformis, can also irritate the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica.

How is sciatica treated?

Dr. Parmar may recommend physical therapy, exercises, and over-the-counter pain relief for mild cases of sciatica. When the pain is severe, he offers injections of cortisone that are guided by ultrasound for exact placement of the medication. Cortisone medications reduce inflammation and swelling of a herniated disc or irritated muscle, relieving the pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Read our blog, A New Strategy for Treating Sciatica Pain

How do cortisone shots work to treat sciatica?

Cortisone shots are steroids that interfere with your body’s inflammatory response to pain. Typically, your immune system produces white blood cells and chemicals in response to irritation. The steroids discourage your immune system from reacting this way to inflammation associated with the nerve damage or irritation.

A cortisone injection can provide you with relief from pain for weeks, and sometimes months. In the meantime, you can perform physical therapy exercises that also help to relieve pressure on the nerve. Injections provide targeted relief to the point of pain, unlike oral medications that deliver a diffuse, less-focused impact and may come with unwanted side effects, including dependence.

Do cortisone injections hurt?

You’ll be offered mild sedation if you’re concerned about pain, but it’s usually not necessary as the procedure isn’t uncomfortable. You feel a slight prick and some pressure during the procedure, but it’s generally well tolerated. The site of the injection may be slightly tender for several hours following treatment. An ice pack helps alleviate this soreness.

Due to potential complications and cartilage deterioration, cortisone shots are scheduled at least six weeks apart and only offered three to four times per year.

If you suffer sciatic pain and simple home remedies aren’t offering relief, contact Alleviate Pain by calling or schedule an appointment online to get started on more aggressive pain-reducing therapies.