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Sciatica Specialist

George J Graf, MD -  - Anesthesiologist and Pain Management Physician

Intelligent Pain & Regenerative Medicine Solutions

George J Graf, MD

Anesthesiologist and Pain Management Physician located in Beverly Hills, CA

It's common to think of sciatica as a back problem, but the pain it causes is likely to be particularly bad in the affected leg. If you have sciatica symptoms, George Graf, MD, provides effective, non-surgical therapies at Intelligent Pain & Regenerative Medicine Solutions in Beverly Hills, California. To find the treatment that's right for you, call Dr. Graf's Los Angeles area office today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Woman experiencing sciatic pain

Sciatica refers to pain from the sciatic nerve in your lower back and leg. Damage to the nerve or pressure that pinches the nerve causes pain that originates in your lumbar spine and follows the path of the sciatic nerve down your leg.

Although the sciatic nerve splits into two, with one branch going down each leg and into your foot, sciatica is far more likely to affect just one of these branches.

Sciatica can develop if there's direct damage to your sciatic nerve from a trauma like an auto accident. However, it's most often a result of nerve pressure due to conditions like:

  • Herniated discs
  • Back or buttock muscle spasms
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Degenerative disc disease

Pregnancy and obesity can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve.

You're at risk of developing sciatica if you don't do much physical activity. Wearing high heels also puts excessive pressure on your joints and spine by forcing them into unnatural positions, which can also lead to sciatica.

If you have sciatica, sleeping on a worn or unsuitable mattress can make it much worse.

What symptoms does sciatica cause?

Sciatica pain is typically shooting or stabbing in nature. It starts in your lower back, goes through your hip and buttock, down your leg, and right down to your foot in some cases. The leg pain is often significantly worse than the pain in your back.

Other symptoms that can affect your leg include:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Muscle control problems

Severe sciatica can sometimes lead to bladder or bowel incontinence. Sciatica pain tends to be worse when you're sitting and improves if you stand.

What treatments can help with sciatica?

The treatments Dr. Graf uses at Intelligent Pain & Regenerative Medicine Solutions for sciatica aim to relieve the pressure on your sciatic nerve, thus removing the cause of your pain. You could benefit from treatments such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Chiropractic
  • Acupuncture
  • Yoga and Pilates
  • Medication management

Occupational therapy, which helps you cope with tasks of daily living, can also be invaluable.

For most patients, these treatments are effective in relieving the symptoms of sciatica. However, if you're still in pain or your pain is too severe to allow you to do your physical therapy, there are a range of injectable treatments Dr. Graf offers that can help.

These include orthobiologic medicine therapies like platelet-rich plasma (PRP), A2M (alpha-2-macroglobulin), stem cell therapy, and umbilical cord matrix, as well as epidural steroid injections and nerve blocks. For treatment-resistant sciatica, Dr. Graf offers neuromodulation treatment using spinal cord stimulation.

To benefit from Dr. Graf's extensive experience in relieving sciatica without surgery, call Intelligent Pain & Regenerative Medicine Solutions today or book an appointment online.