Board Certified Neurosurgeon: Minimally Invasive Spine and Cranial Surgeries

Sciatica services offered in Chattanooga, TN

Sciatica causes tingling, pain, and burning, ranging from mildly irritating to completely disabling. Experienced neurosurgeon David A. Wiles, MD, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, determines why you’re experiencing irritation and inflammation at your sciatic nerve and offers treatment to help you find relief from pain and dysfunction. If you’re struggling with sciatica, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Sciatica Q&A

What is sciatica?


Sciatica is a condition that occurs from a pinched or compressed sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and located in the lower spine. 


Sciatica causes pain that starts in the lower back or middle of your buttocks and runs down the side and back of your legs. People describe sciatica pain as sharp, nagging, tingly, burning, achy, and numbing. 


Sciatica may appear because of a:


  • Car accident or sports injury
  • Disc herniation
  • Overuse and muscle tightness
  • Structural issues with the vertebrae in the lower spine


Sciatica generally only affects one side of your body, but the pain and discomfort can run all the way down to your feet and toes.

What symptoms suggest I have sciatica?


Not everyone experiences sciatic pain the same way. The symptoms that indicate you have sciatica include:


  • Numbness and pain that spreads through your upper leg
  • Sharp, shooting pain that’s especially acute when you stand from a seated position 
  • Pain that increases when you sit for long periods of time
  • Weakness in the affected leg
  • Dull, nagging pain in one side of your buttock
  • Pins-and-needles sensations in the leg and lower back


These symptoms make exercise, daily activity, and even walking difficult and painful.

How do you treat sciatica?


Dr. Wiles does a thorough examination to determine what’s causing your sciatica. He may include imaging exams, such as X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs), to get a clear picture of your spine and any nerve involvement. 


Your treatment depends on the cause of your sciatica. Dr. Wiles customizes your plan to include pain medications and injections, physical therapy referrals, and rest as needed. In some cases, he may recommend minimally invasive surgery, particularly if a disc herniation, bone spurs, or other structural spinal issues are the reason for your pain. Surgery is reserved for when your sciatica doesn’t respond to more conservative treatments and when the compressed nerve causes significant weakness and dysfunction. 


If you’re struggling with sciatica, reach out to the office of David A. Wiles, MD, by calling or booking an appointment online today.