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Sciatic Nerve Pain Specialist

J. Rafe Sales, MD -  - Spine Surgeon

J. Rafe Sales, MD

Spine Surgeon located in Portland, Newberg & Lake Oswego, OR

Sciatic nerve pain includes back pain as well as pain and numbness that extends through your hips and legs. At his practice at St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, J. Rafe Sales, MD, a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon, diagnoses and treats sciatic nerve pain with innovative treatments, including spinal injections. If you have sciatica symptoms, call Dr. Sales or request a consultation online today for expert treatment.

Sciatic Nerve Pain Q & A

What is sciatic nerve pain?

Your sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in your body. It starts in your lower back and splits to run down your hips, buttocks, and legs, ending just above your ankles. Sciatic nerve pain occurs when something compresses the nerve. 

You might have localized pain at the site of the nerve compression. However, many patients develop sciatica, a group of symptoms caused by sciatic nerve compression, including:

  • Electrical, shooting pain in your hips or legs
  • Throbbing or pulsing pain
  • Weakness in your legs and feet
  • Numbness in your legs and feet
  • Tingling, tightness, or crawling feeling along your legs

Sciatica symptoms can come and go, and you might find that sitting for a long time can make your symptoms worse.

What causes sciatic nerve pain?

Herniated discs in your lumbar (lower) spine are the most common cause of sciatic nerve pain. Osteoarthritis can also lead to bone spur growth, which can also compress your sciatic nerve. 

Your risk of sciatic nerve pain increases with age and if you’re overweight. Those with a physically demanding career or a sedentary lifestyle are also at risk of developing sciatic nerve pain. 

You can reduce your risk of sciatic nerve pain by staying active and maintaining healthy body weight. Maintaining proper posture while you’re sitting, standing, and moving can also help reduce your risk. 

How is sciatic nerve pain treated?

Dr. Sales begins treatment with a comprehensive exam to identify the cause of your sciatic nerve pain. While reviewing your medical history and symptoms, he checks your back for signs of deformity and inflammation. Dr. Sale might ask you to perform some stretches, which can help him identify sciatica. When necessary, he uses diagnostic imaging studies and nerve conduction tests to confirm your diagnosis.

Once Dr. Sales understands your condition, he creates a personalized treatment plan to reduce your pain and sciatic nerve compression. You might benefit from spinal injections and physical therapy. When noninvasive treatments don’t relieve your condition, Dr. Sales also offers minimally invasive spine surgery to correct the issue causing your sciatic nerve compression. In most cases, Dr. Sales can help you get back to work and your regular activities in just one or two weeks. 

If you have sciatica symptoms and they’re interfering with your life, call Dr. Sales or request an appointment online today.