Sciatica

If back pain caused by sciatica is preventing you from living a full, active life, it’s time to get help. The spine experts at Henry Ford Health System offer a range of advanced sciatica therapies for lasting pain relief.

Sciatica care: Why choose Henry Ford?

As the leading provider of sciatica care in southeast and south central Michigan, Henry Ford offers many benefits:

  • Expertise: Our team includes board-certified, fellowship-trained doctors. You’ll get the expertise of spine specialists who focus entirely on back and neck care.
  • Collaborative care: We make sure you get complete care by collaborating with radiologists, pain management specialists and other providers in the Henry Ford network.
  • Customized treatments: Treatments are tailored to your unique needs. We evaluate your spine condition, overall health, lifestyle and activity goals to make a care plan that works.

What is sciatic nerve pain?

Sciatica is a broad term used to describe a range of conditions that affect the sciatic nerve. This nerve, the largest in the body, starts in the lower back and travels down the legs to the feet.

The spine specialists at Henry Ford treat all of the conditions that can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, including:

Sciatica symptoms

Symptoms of sciatica may start in the lower back, but usually radiate down through the hips, buttocks and back of the legs. This type of shooting pain that follows a nerve pathway is called radiculopathy.

Sciatic nerve pain may feel like:

  • Burning
  • Electric sensation
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness

Sciatica diagnosis

An accurate sciatica diagnosis is the first step toward pain relief. At Henry Ford, our spine doctors take the time to conduct a thorough physical exam and review your symptoms in detail. In some cases, we may order imaging exams or other tests to determine the underlying cause of your sciatic nerve compression.

We offer:

  • CT scans
  • MRIs
  • Myelograms, or X-rays that focus on nerve problems
  • Nerve conduction testing
  • X-rays

Nonsurgical sciatica treatment

At-home sciatica treatment such as rest, ice and pain medication may be all you need to find relief. However, if your symptoms don’t improve after several months, it’s time to see an expert.

The Henry Ford spine care team includes physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians. These board-certified doctors specialize in nonsurgical treatments to help you manage sciatic pain and regain mobility.

We also offer:

Sciatica surgery

The goal of sciatica surgery is to remove the source of nerve compression, which may mean removing part of a vertebra (one of the many bones that form the spinal column) or intervertebral disc (spongy pad of cartilage that separates adjacent vertebrae).

At Henry Ford, we have a team of spine surgeons who specialize in nerve decompression procedures. We can perform most spine surgeries using minimally invasive techniques, which may help you recover faster and with less pain.

Sciatica surgeries we offer include:

  • Microdiscectomy: Through a tiny incision (less than one inch), your surgeon uses a specialized microscope and surgical tools to remove the damaged part of an intervertebral disc that is pressing on the sciatic nerve.
  • Laminectomy: Your surgeon uses a high-speed drill to remove part of the lamina, which is the bony “roof” of the vertebra. This minimally invasive procedure opens up the spinal column, giving the sciatic nerve roots more space.

Take the next step

If you’re ready to find relief from sciatica, let us help you take the next step. Request an in-person or virtual appointment with our spine care team.

 
Take the next step
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