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Pacific Pain Physicians

Interventional Pain Management Specialists located in Santa Barbara, CA & San Luis Obispo, CA

Around 40% of Americans experience sciatica at some point during their lives. If you have lower back pain combined with pain, numbness, and weakness that extends through one or both of your legs, contact Pacific Pain Physicians in Santa Barbara, California. The experienced team of pain management specialists can diagnose sciatica and provide customized treatments to relieve your pain and heal the condition causing your discomfort. Call or make an appointment online today.

Sciatica Q & A


What is sciatica?

Sciatica is the name for the pain, numbness, and weakness that extends from your lower back through your buttocks and legs as a result of sciatic nerve compression. In most cases, sciatica only affects one side of your body, although it’s possible for you to have symptoms in both of your legs. Sciatica symptoms vary. You may experience:

  • Dull or sharp pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling or burning sensations
  • Muscle weakness

Your symptoms may become worse when you stand or walk, or when you transition to a standing position after a long period of sitting still. 

What causes sciatica?

In most cases, sciatica is caused by herniated discs in your lower spine. You have rubbery discs between each of your vertebrae. When a disc tears or ruptures, its gel interior can push through the rubbery outer shell and compress the nerves in the surrounding area. In your lower spine, a herniated disc is likely to compress your sciatic nerve, which extends from your lower back through your buttocks and legs.

How is sciatica treated?

If your exam reveals sciatica, Pacific Pain Physicians offers a variety of treatments to release the compression on your nerve and relieve your pain and other symptoms.


Epidural steroid injections (ESI)

Your physician may recommend epidural steroid injections, or ESI. ESI combine long-lasting corticosteroids and a local anesthetic to provide immediate pain relief while also delivering powerful anti-inflammatories into the epidural space in your spine to reduce nerve compression.


Physical therapy

Physical therapy involves exercises, stretches, and manual treatments, such as massage. It improves symptoms of sciatica by increasing flexibility, range of motion, posture, and improving muscle strength. You’ll learn movements to practice at home to continue your progress between appointments.


Spinal cord stimulation (SCS)

Spinal cord stimulation is a drug-free treatment involving an implanted electrical device. Your doctor places the device in your lower back, and it decreases the perception of pain by sending a mild electrical current into your spinal cord, which disrupts the pain messages traveling to your brain.


Trigger point injections (TPIs)

Trigger point injections, or TPIs, deliver a local anesthetic and steroid into a trigger point in the muscles of your lower back to release muscle spasm and pain. A piriformis injection is a type of TPI.

If you have lower back pain and other symptoms of sciatica, call Pacific Pain Physicians or make an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and treatment.