Nicky Bhatia, MD

Sciatica Specialist

Sciatica is a condition caused by problems with the longest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve. Sciatica often causes intense shooting pain or numbness, that travels down one leg. This condition is treatable and patients can achieve freedom from sciatic pain with the help of Dr. Jeffrey Linder at Bryant Park Wellness in Midtown, New York City.

Sciatica Q & A

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica occurs when there is considerable pressure on the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve extends from the spine down to the heel, so the main symptom of sciatica is often a shooting type of pain. Most cases of sciatica involve just one leg, although it can occur in both legs simultaneously in rare cases.

What are the Causes of Sciatica?

There are a number of potential causes of sciatica. In all cases of sciatica, some type of pressure or entrapment of the sciatic nerve has occurred. That entrapment may be due to:

  • Compressed disc
  • Herniated disc
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Excess weight
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Piroformis syndrome

What are the Symptoms of Sciatica?

The symptoms of sciatica can vary from one patient to another, but pain shooting from the back to the knee area and often continuing down towards the heel is the main symptom in most cases. In some cases, the pain feels more like a persistent leg cramp. Some patients experience worse pain when they cough, sneeze, or make sudden motions.

Many patients have other symptoms as well, including:

  • Leg weakness
  • Leg numbness
  • Burning sensation in leg
  • Pins and needles sensation in the leg and foot
  • Difficulty bending the knee
  • Difficulty flexing feet and toes
  • Leg, foot, or ankle muscle weakness

How is Sciatica Treated?

Sciatica is treated in several ways, with the main approach to treatment being proper spinal alignment to either reduce the mechanical pressure on a herniated disc, widen the spinal canal in spinal stenosis or reduce the tension on the piroformis muscle in piroformis syndrome.

When spinal misalignments are reduced, the sciatic nerve won't experience the continued high pressure.

In some cases, lifestyle adjustments must be made so that the reasons causing the spinal misalignments that in turn eventually applied pressure to the sciatic nerve do not recur. For example, if obesity is the cause of sciatica, patients can get weight loss help from Dr. Linder.

Proper treatment of sciatica must be focused on dealing with the underlying condition that resulted in the sciatica pain.

In most cases, sciatica treatment will not only resolve pain but will also help the patient to achieve better overall health since the underlying problem is being corrected.


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