About Sciatica

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907)562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
Scroll down to learn more

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is one of the most common causes of lower back and lower extremity pain. Sciatica is caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve—the largest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve runs through the lower back, buttock, thigh, and leg muscles. Symptoms usually only present on one side of the body.

Symptoms you should look for are:

  • Sharp, radiating pain
  • Burning
  • Weakness
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Pain increases while sitting or standing

Common Causes:

  • Lumbar herniated disc(s)
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolisthesis

When diagnosing sciatica, The OPA Spine Team Specialists do the following:

  • Obtain a complete medical history
  • Perform a physical examination
  • Order and analyze X-ray, MRI, and CT Scan

Sciatica can be hard to diagnose by yourself to determine its origin. The OPA Spine Team takes special precautions to ensure that your condition is properly diagnosed.

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options effectively treat the majority of cases of sciatica. Treatment options decrease nerve inflammation.

Common options include:

Anti-inflammatory and pain medications

Prescription strength aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Celebrex, acetaminophen.

Physical Therapy

One of OPA’s onsite physical therapists prescribes and monitors strengthening and stretching excersises.


A removable back brace.


An injection of steroid and anesthetic medications.
In cases where nonsurgical treatments have not resolved the symptoms of sciatica, our Board- Certified and Fellowship-Trained Orthopedic Spine Surgeons may discuss the option of a surgical procedure. Unlike in years past, most spinal procedures can now be performed using a minimally invasive approach that requires only a small incision and significantly expedites recovery time.

There are several Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery options for sciatica, the goal for any of these procedures is to remove the herniated portion of the disc(s), spinal bones or other structures to alleviate pressure on the spinal nerves.

At OPA, our Board-Certified and Fellowship-Trained Spine Specialists, Dr. Mark Flanum, Dr. James Eule, and Dr. Curtis Mina are experts in treating sciatica.

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment to see one of our Spine Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.

Anchorage: (907)562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Spine Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Dr. James Eule

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Dr. Mark Flanum

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Dr. Curtis Mina

Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Sean Taylor, MD

Pain Management

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.

Sucess Stories

Barbara Chambers


    Call Now ButtonCall Us Today