Our office will be closed on 7/4/2022.


Pain from Sciatica



What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica refers to pain that runs through the sciatic nerve pathway. This nerve travels from the lower back to the hip and often radiates down the back of the leg. This condition is quite common among those with low back pain.



Symptoms of Sciatica


Person experiencing low back pain



What Causes Sciatica?


Person experiencing pain from a herniated disc

Sciatica is usually triggered by a herniated disc or bone spur that presses on the sciatic nerve. Injuries that cause inflammation, irritation or pinching of this nerve can also trigger sciatica.



Conservative Treatments for Sciatica

If your pain is not severely affecting your life or work, conservative treatments should be performed first.

Heat / Cold Therapy

applying ice or heat to the low back can reduce inflammation and compression on the nerve, in turn reliving the pain of sciatica.

Taking Anti-Inflammatory Medications

over the counter medications (NSAID’s) such as ibuprofen, Advil or Aleve can help reduce inflammation as well.


Safely performing stretches for the low back can help relieve pressure on the nerve. Strengthening the glutes and abdomen has also been shown to help with low back pain. Consult a physical therapist for proper stretches for low back pain.



Other Treatments for Sciatica

If your pain persists with conservative treatments, more aggressive forms of treatment may be necessary. Our back doctors in Nashville use the following types of treatment for sciatica:

Physical Therapy

Almost all patients are prescribed physical therapy to strengthen the muscles that support the low back. Physical therapy is important to learn stretches and exercises that will help longevity of managing your pain.

Injections of the Spine

A cortisol injection can be administered to help manage pain in the short term but is not effective for long-term pain management. Some patients experience a burning or tingling sensation when the injection of administered. Other injections such as epidural injections can be administered under anesthesia. Ask your back doctor if a cortisol or epidural injection is right for you.

Dry Needling

Dry Needling is a form of alternative medicine that can help manage pain in the short term. There is no known or proven reason why dry needling helps relieve some patients’ pain but can be a great option for patients wanting to avoid more aggressive treatments.



What Does Sciatica Feel Like?

Most people experience a shocking sensation running on the lower back and down the back of their leg. However, symptoms vary from person to person.



What Kinds of Doctors Treat Sciatica?

An orthopedic doctor can treat lower back problems. Doctors who specialize in surgery of the spine have additional training in back pain and will be able to efficiently treat sciatic nerve issues.



Does Sciatica Require Surgery?

If conservative treatments to relieve pain from sciatica fail, more invasive procedures may be required. Our back doctors in Nashville, TN always try conservative treatments before recommending back surgery. The good news is, 80-90 percent of people with sciatica do not require surgery.



Our Middle Tennessee Back Doctors

Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics has 2 surgeons who specialize in surgery of the spine. Both Dr. Chris Glattes and Dr. Colin Crosby are fellowship-trained and have extensive experience dealing with conditions such as Sciatica. 



Cassie Whittaker Cassie is the Communications Coordinator for Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics. She has been writing and reviewing medical content since 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/cassie-whittaker-802a3b173

You Might Also Enjoy...

Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Doctor vs. Podiatrist

When you have a problem with your foot or ankle that requires medical attention, who do you see for treatment — an orthopedist or a podiatrist? Many people think a podiatrist is the same as an orthopedist, but there are several significant differences betw

What Is an Orthopedic Surgeon?

Orthopedic surgeons treat conditions in the knee, shoulder, elbow, back, hand, foot, and more. Learn more about orthopedic surgery and how you can find the best doctor near you. Elite has 12 highly skilled orthopedic surgeons in Nashville, TN.

The Back Doctor - What You Should Know

Do you need to see a back doctor in Nashville, TN? Our team of fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons include some of the best spine specialists near you. Learn about symptoms and prevention of back pain and back conditions.

The Hand Doctor - What You Should Know

Do you need to see a hand doctor in Nashville, TN? Our award-winning orthopedic surgeons include some of the best hand specialists near you. Check out this guide to see if you could live a lower pain lifestyle.

5 Things Every Athlete Should Know

As an athlete, a healthy body is the key to success within your sport. It is important to know how to prevent injuries and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle that supports the physical demands your sport requires.

Why Do My Shins Hurt When Running?

Have you recently taken up running? You may find yourself grabbing for your lower leg or unable to continue. This may be due to shin splints, one of the most common injuries in runners.