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Can Injections Help My Sciatica Pain?

Nov 02, 2023
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Sciatica affects millions of people, causing significant pain and mobility problems. The good news is that injections can help. Here’s how they work and how they effectively manage sciatica symptoms.

As many as 40% of people will have sciatica at some point during their lives, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe and debilitating. A relatively common type of low back pain, sciatica symptoms can occur in your back as well as your buttocks, hips, and legs.

At Metro Spine PC, our team focuses on a patient-centered approach to sciatica treatment, using innovative, effective treatments like injection therapy to manage symptoms and spur healing.  

Why sciatica happens

Sciatica is named for the long sciatic nerve that exits your lower spine and travels down each leg. Sciatica happens when this nerve is pinched or compressed, typically soon after leaving your spinal canal. 

Lots of issues can lead to sciatic nerve compression, including:

  • Herniated or bulging discs
  • Inflammation around the spine
  • Spine conditions, like spinal stenosis or scoliosis
  • Arthritis or bone spurs
  • Muscle spasms
  • Tumors or other growths

Being overweight, having poor posture, or spending a lot of time on your feet can all make sciatica symptoms worse. 

Sciatica symptoms, like pain, burning, or numbness, can happen anywhere along the nerve path, including your lower back, hips, and legs. In most cases, only one branch of the nerve is affected. Some people find their symptoms are worse when lying in bed, when the lower back may not get the support it needs to relieve pressure on the nerve.

How injections can help

Sciatica can typically be treated with conservative, nonsurgical therapies. Oral medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications, like weight loss and activity modification, can often be helpful in relieving pain and other symptoms. When these options don’t work, injections are often a good alternative.

Injection therapy for sciatica relies on medications to relieve inflammation and block pain for both immediate and long-term relief. Our team administers injections using ultrasound guidance to ensure precise placement of the needle and accurate delivery of medication.

Unlike oral medications that need to pass through your digestive system before reaching its target, injections deliver medicine right to the source of pain for greater effects and more powerful benefits. In addition to providing immediate relief for pain, injections can make other treatments, like physical therapy, more comfortable and effective.

During and after your injection

Sciatica injections are performed right in our office. We may prescribe a sedative ahead of time to help you relax and stay comfortable.

Prior to your injection, we “map out” ideal placement of the injection, using ultrasound to guide the needle during the actual treatment. Medication typically is administered to the epidural space surrounding your spine.

After your treatment, the anesthetic medication provides immediate relief. We provide complete recovery instructions, including activity restrictions for the immediate healing period. The anti-inflammatory component of your therapy takes effect over the next few days. 

Find relief for sciatica symptoms

Sciatica injections can be repeated as needed to maintain pain relief and help your spine heal. To learn more about injections and other treatments for sciatica, request an appointment online or over the phone with the team at Metro Spine PC in Oxon Hill and Clinton, Maryland, or Washington, DC, today.