No more pain: Treating sciatica

By Britney Glaser - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Do you have an aching back?  If so, you're not alone, in fact 90 percent of adults have back pain at some time in their lives. In this Healthcast, we find out what treatment options can have you on your feet again and living a pain-free life.

For the past three years, Floyd Burton has been living with sciatica.  "A constant ache and it went down the leg a little bit," says Floyd.  The pain was something that took a major toll on this active 77-year-old father, grandfather and golf enthusiast.  "You think about it all the time," says Floyd, "it was hard to just stand and visit with somebody, I had to get in a chair and sit down if I wanted to visit."

When the pain became too much and numbness began to set in for Floyd, he finally contacted his physician.  Dr. Clark Gunderson, an orthopedic surgeon on staff with Lake Charles Memorial Hospital says, "Sciatica is when people develop pain following the sciatic nerve, which is a large nerve that comes out of the lower back and goes down the back of the thigh and down all the way to the foot."

The root of Floyd's pain was a deteriorated disk, which was compressing the nerve roots along his sciatic nerve.  "One of the disks ruptures,"  says Dr. Gunderson, "it causes pressure on the nerve and these nerves then go out and go down the leg and that's the sciatic nerve."

Treatment for sciatica can range from over-the-counter medication and physical therapy to lumbar epidural steroid injections. Floyd had an injection in January and is back in the game of life.  "I'm back to playing golf and I can work in the yard," says Floyd.

*Numbness, tingling and pain in the lower back and leg are all signs of sciatica. If Floyd's story rings true for you, there's an upcoming free seminar where you can learn more about the symptoms, causes and treatment of back pain and sciatica. It's called "Baby's Got Back...ache," and it will be held at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital on Friday, June 25th at noon. To reserve a seat, call 337-494-2936.

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