Treat your pain and live a better life…

best-pain-doctor-nycWelcome to my blog about pain. Unfortunately, many people suffer from chronic pain. As a board certified physician in physical medicine and rehabilitation, my specialty is treating these people with both acute and chronic pain.

A majority of my practice is working with patients that are experiencing back and neck pain.

My goal with this blog is to help patients who are experiencing any type of back or neck pain to understand what is causing their pain and discuss options that are available to end their pain. I hope to be able to provide readers with a portal that they can can use to educate themselves and facilitate treatment.

My specialty is my Interventional Spine Skills including cervical and lumbar epidural steroid injections, facet injections, medial branch blocks, Radiofrequency ablation, sympathetic ganglion blocks, spinal cord stimulator trials, sacroiliac joint injection, piriformis muscle block and musculoskeletal joint injection. I also perform many other procedures to alleviate acute and chronic pain.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it and observing people from all over the world reading it.

– Matthew Grimm, M.D.

Category Archives: Sciatica

Sciatica: Definition, Causes & Treatments

Sciatica is an incredibly common, but mostly misunderstood, condition. Some estimates show that up to 40% of the population will deal with some kind of sciatic pain. That risk gets even higher the older we get. But what exactly is sciatica? What causes it? And what can be done to treat sciatica?

What Exactly is Sciatica?

sciatica-definition-causes-treatments-info-01Sciatica is the name for pain in the sciatic nerve. Due to the size, shape, and location of the sciatic nerve, it is prone to pinching and irritation. This causes pain that can radiate down the lower back, hip, knee, ankle, and foot. However, sciatica is commonly used as a catch-all term for lower back pain. Not all low back pain is caused by the sciatic nerve.

A few telltale signs of sciatica are lower back pain or pain radiating to the to the ankle, knee, or hip. This pain is usually exacerbated by bending at the lower back, twisting, coughing, or lifting with the back. If this sounds like you, make an appointment with Dr. Grimm so that you can find out for sure.

What Causes Sciatica?

what-causes-sciatica-02Sciatica can be caused by any number of underlying problems. Common problems include bulging or herniated vertebral discs, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis. Additionally, there are a number of systemic problems that can lead to compression of the sciatic nerve. A growth, such as a hematoma, can potentially put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause sciatic pain radiating down through the lower back and leg.

After a traumatic event, such as a car accident, shifting structures in one’s body can add additional pressure and cause sciatica. It is also possible for sciatica to be caused by poor body mechanics and ergonomics. Sitting in a tight position for too long can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. One important concept to understand about sciatica is that pain can be referred. This means that pain will be felt in one location, but the actual site of the cons of the pain is another. It is essential to know the underlying cause of your sciatica in order to treat it effectively.

How Sciatica is Treated

treatment-options-for-sciatica-positive-prognosis-03Thankfully, sciatica is a very treatable condition. The exact treatment pursued will depend on the severity of the pain, the cause of the pain, and the exact location the pain originates from. For some people, sciatica can be treated simply through stretches and physical therapy treatments. For others, surgical intervention may be required.

As a general rule of thumb, we like to begin with the least invasive possible treatment and work our way through treatment alternatives. This will allow us to find the treatment for you that allows for a quick and painless recovery. Another commonly used treatment intervention is a prescribed painkiller. This medication will bring down the swelling that may be causing the nerve to be pinched and will help with current pain as well. In the meantime, many have found that using ice packs and regular physical exercise keeps sciatic pain to a minimum. In addition, any environmental causes of swelling or pinching of the nerve should be identified and eliminated.

It should be noted that the majority of people who deal with sciatica do not need to have surgery to eliminate their pain. The sooner treatments begin, the more effective they are and the more likely it is that a less invasive treatment will be effective.

Are you dealing with sciatica? Come make an appointment with Dr. Grimm to develop a treatment plan for you.

Matthew Grimm, M.D.
West Side:
343 West 58th Street
Suite 11
New York, NY 10019

East Side:
160 E 56th St
11th Floor
New York, NY 10022
646-862-5555

What is Sciatica?

The simple answer to the above raised question is: back pain in the sciatic nerve. However, this raises additional questions. How can you identify sciatica? How can sciatica be treated? And what can be done to relieve sciatic pain?

How can you Identify Sciatica?

sciatic-nerve-pain-best-pain-doctor-nyc-03Thankfully, sciatica can be fairly easily self-diagnosed. Sciatica can be recognized by back pain along the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs along the lower end of the leg, from the hip down. Whenever pain is consistently experienced in the hip, buttocks, and posterior leg, sciatica is potential. The sensation is not necessarily strictly one of pain. It may also demonstrate numbness, tingling, or generalized weakness. However, not all pain in the lower back or upper leg is caused by the sciatic nerve. One tell tale signs of sciatic nerve pain is a radiating sensation that ranges from the upper leg to the foot. There are many reasons sciatica may develop, including overexertion, poor posture, or injury. Regardless of the cause of sciatica, many times it can be treated without the use of surgery. Typical treatments to relieve pain include gentle stretches, regular exercise, and proper ergonomic positioning when seated for an extended period of time. Any activity that puts excessive strain or pressure on the lower back or upper leg can see erratically cause sciatica. If you feel you have sciatica, talk to your doctor. They will be able to perform an examination that will provide a definite answer, as well as offering their expert opinion for treatment and prognosis.

How can Sciatica be Treated?

treatment-sciatica-medical-information-02Sciatica can be treated in a number of ways. Common treatments for sciatica include stretching, exercise, and education on ergonomics and body mechanics to improve posture when sitting, standing, or lifting. Any activity that can put additional pressure on the sciatic nerve can theoretically cause sciatic pain. Therefore, it is essential to understand the benefit of early intervention. Additionally, treatment may include use of medications, procedures such as nerve root blocks or numbing of the sciatic nerve, or- in extreme cases- surgery. However, typically sciatic pain can be relieved without invasive means.

What can be Done to Relieve Sciatic Pain?

top-nyc-doctor-for-Sciatica-treatment-info-01Once sciatic pain has been relieved, the primary stuff is maintaining pain relief. In instances where sciatic nerve pain was caused by injury, avoiding activities that can cause repeat injuries is essential. One common technique to avoid such injuries is the use of good ergonomic principles. For example, lifting with the legs as opposed to the back can decrease the risk of nerve impingement and sciatic pain. Alternatively, sciatica pain can come from something as simple as having a large wallet in one’s back pocket. Once the pain has subsided, maintenance includes nothing but removing the wallet in question. Occasionally, pregnant women may experience sciatic pain. Obviously, eventually this will go away once the baby is born. However, good ergonomic principle should still be maintained during pregnancy to ensure comfort and limit pain.

 

Are you experiencing sciatic pain? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Grimm to discuss the cause and possible treatments today.