Spinal Stenosis And Sciatica Specialist

Lance E. Gravely MD, Inc

Neurosurgeon located in Pasadena, CA & Encino, CA

Pain in your low back and legs are common signs of sciatica and spinal stenosis. Caused by pressure on your nerves, these conditions are treatable, with the right care. Conveniently located in Pasadena and Encino, California, Lance E. Gravely, MD, is a board-certified neurosurgeon. He can offer you relief and treat the underlying causes of sciatica and spinal stenosis. Put pain behind you by calling or booking a consultation online today.

Spinal Stenosis and Sciatica Q & A

What are sciatica and spinal stenosis?

Both sciatica and spinal stenosis are conditions affecting your nerves. Sciatica happens when your sciatic nerve is pinched or compressed. Sciatica commonly causes pain in your lower back that radiates down your leg. This is the path of your sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in your body.

Spinal stenosis occurs when aging or other factors cause your spinal canal to become more narrow. The process usually happens over time, gradually putting painful pressure on your nerves.

Spinal stenosis is most common in adults over age 60. Arthritis is the most common reason for the condition.

What are the symptoms of spinal stenosis?

With spinal stenosis, you may experience:

  • Pain, numbness, or weakness in your buttocks, legs, or calves
  • Cramping in your calves while walking
  • Pain that seems to improve by leaning forward or sitting

You may also feel radiating pain in one or both of your legs or thighs, a symptom you also may experience with sciatica.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

The most common signs are back pain or leg pain. The pain can feel mild or excruciating. You may feel:

  • A jolt, or electric shock
  • A sharp, burning sensation
  • Pain that’s worse when you sneeze, cough, or sit for long periods

You might also experience muscle weakness, tingling, or numbness in the affected area.

How are sciatica and spinal stenosis diagnosed?

Besides performing a physical exam, your doctor may check your reflexes and muscle strength. You may be asked to complete a series of actions, such as moving side to side and bending over to look for pain and issues with movement.

To confirm your diagnosis, your doctor typically recommends imaging tests to look for structural issues, such as narrowing with spinal stenosis, or bone spurs or herniated discs with sciatica.

How are sciatica and spinal stenosis treated?

Your doctor creates a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to the cause of your condition. Your treatment plan may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to ease inflammation around the nerve. Physical therapy or epidural injections also may provide relief.

Your doctor may recommend surgical options too. For example, if you have a herniated disc, you may benefit from a surgical procedure called a laminectomy. If you have spinal stenosis, your doctor may advise removing a small part of bone to alleviate pressure on your nerve.

If you’re ready to be free of lower back and leg pain related to sciatica and spinal stenosis, call or schedule a consultation online today with board-certified specialist Lance E. Gravely, MD.