Sciatica: Diagnosis and Treatment [Video]

Ask the Expert: Spine Video Series

About the video: What are the most common causes and treatment for sciatica pain?

There are many different causes for sciatica pain, and determining the source of the pain is the first step. Listen to our experts discuss some common causes and treatments for sciatica.

Meet Trevor Wahlquist, M.D.

Dr. Wahlquist’s approach: “Ensuring people are living healthy and active lifestyles is important to me. I strive to work together with patients to find non-operative and operative solutions for their pain, getting them back to the activities and the people that matter most to them.”

Dr. Wahlquist’s education: Aftera earning his Science in Kinesiology bachelors degree At the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and Masters of Science in Human Nutrition at Columbia University in New York, New York, Dr. Wahlquist completed his medical studies at the University of Minnesota’s School of Medicine. Later he trained as a resident of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and he went on to complete a Spine Surgery fellowship at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

Meet Dr. Jose Santos

Dr. Santos’ approach: I believe in the body’s innate ability to heal itself and use the most conservative treatment methods possible to help people reduce pain and achieve their highest level of function. I use a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment and am committed to caring for my patients and improving the quality of their lives.

Dr. Santos’ education: After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of the Philippines, he graduated with her medical degree from University of the East, Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical center in the Philippines. He completed his first residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital, in Miami, FL. He then went on to complete a second residency at the University of Missouri, in Kansas City. Santos also participated in a interventional pain fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive spine expertise

Summit Orthopedics’ Spine Care program is recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for the comprehensive expertise of our patient-centered care. Our back specialists diagnose spine problems and design custom treatment plans built on a conservative, nonsurgical approach. Most patients find relief through treatments including guided injections, specialized physical therapy, biofeedback, exercise, activity modification, and medication. When conservative care does not relieve symptoms, our highly skilled surgeons offer proven, evidence-based surgical options. Together with you, we will determine the right course of action.

Start your journey to a healthy spine. Find your spine expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a spine consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNPlymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.

Additional resources for you

Video Transcription

Sciatica pain is an umbrella term we use in medicine. So it’s basically a pinched nerve. So that pinched nerve can be caused by either a herniated disc, a torn disc, or overgrowth of some bone that’s pinching on that nerve. So anything going down the legs is what they call radicular pain or, layman’s term, sciatica. There’s a lot of different causes for sciatica. Because of that, you really need to determine what is the cause of your particular sciatica before you can start to discuss some of the treatment options. Almost always, you start with aggressive nonoperative therapy, through physical therapy and a home exercise program. You can also treat it with oral medications, anti-inflammatories in particular. If those fail, and if a surgical treatment is appropriate, that’s when we start to approach surgery.

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  • Jose O. Santos, M.D.

    “I believe in the body’s innate ability to heal itself and use the most conservative treatment methods possible to help people reduce pain and achieve their highest level of function. I use a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment and am committed to caring for my patients and improving the quality of their lives.”

    More about this expert

  • Trevor Wahlquist MD

    Trevor Wahlquist, M.D.

    “Ensuring people are living healthy and active lifestyles is important to me. I strive to work together with patients to find non-operative and operative solutions for their pain, getting them back to the activities and the people that matter most to them.”

    More about this expert

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