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Sciatica Santa Monica, CA

When lower back pain radiates down your hip and buttock into your leg, you are experiencing sciatica. Generally, this chronic condition only affects one side of the body and the leg on the affected side. The pain follows the sciatic nerve, which is a large nerve in the lower back that branches off into each leg and travels down to the toes. The sciatic nerve is the longest in the body.

Pressure on this nerve causes pain to be felt anywhere from the beginning to the end of the nerve. In most cases, the problem will resolve on its own within a few weeks. Surgery may be an option for severe situations where a patient experiences significant leg weakness or changes in the bowel or bladder.

The nerve can become irritated when a herniated disk, bone spur or narrowing of the spine puts pressure on the nerve — inflammation and pain result. Occasionally, the patient may experience numbness in the leg affected by the nerve.

Sciatica Treatment Options

Treatment for sciatica may include anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen. Muscle relaxants may also be recommended. Steroid injections may be used in the area around the root of the nerve. Corticosteroids help reduce the swelling around the irritated nerve.

If the pain has subsided, physical therapy may be advised to help you prevent future injuries. Exercises include those to correct poor posture, strengthen core muscles and increase flexibility.

Diagnosing Sciatica

Your doctor will give you an exam and check your muscle strength, watching for signs of pain when you do certain movements. Imaging tests may also be used to find out what is irritating the nerve when the pain is severe or does not improve. An X-ray of the spine may be taken to check for a bone spur. MRI and CT scans provide information about soft tissues and the spinal nerves. Electrical impulses may be checked with electromyography to confirm that the nerve is compressed by a herniated disk or by spinal stenosis.

Self-care measures usually alleviate the pain caused by sciatica. Resting will help, but too much inactivity can make the situation worse. Stretching exercises often relieve pressure on the nerve.

Dr. Michael will be happy to advise you on self-care remedies you can try to help relieve symptoms of sciatica. If your pain continues or worsens, testing may be necessary to determine the next steps in treating your condition. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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Our Patient Reviews

Brent J. Michael, MD

4.7 / 5.0

Based on 34 reviews

Tammy Siever

Dr. Michael is the most Caring Dr. I have had the privilege of having taking care of my health needs. His calm and personal demeanor is above and beyond what I have ever experienced. I have never had issues with the the waiting time but, if ever I did I would not complain because he is worth the wait. I get his complete attention the entire visit. When I leave I feel very confident that he has completely covered my heath needs from head to toe. I would recommend him to anyone who wants is concerned or wants a Dr. to be concerned about their health.

Gianpaolo von Nacher

Dr. Michael has been our family doctor for over 10 years. He has always been the main pillar in our family care; specially a few years ago when my father wouldn’t have been able to get through a very difficult period without his care. He always goes the extra mile. His staff is amazing. Anita, his nurse, always efficient, loving and caring. Aileen, in the front desk, always responsive and helpful. I’m very grateful to have them on our side.

Mark B

I could literally write pages about Dr. Michael. I thankfully met him and his staff over 13 years ago after I had been suffering from a serious lung infection for over a month that 2 other doctors had missed.- 1 due to being totally arrogant and thinking I just had a cold. I was burning up and so sick I could barely walk. Dr. Michael took the time and actually listened to me - instead of just saying its probably just the flu (as the other doctors had done) or just a cold and sending me home, he actually did a complete physical on me an then had the intuition to order a chest x ray on me (I was not even coughing at the time) and then really looked at it and discovered that I actually had a really serious lung infection and started me on antibiotics. While this may sound like no big deal - it actually was, as he actually saw that it was not a normal looking lung infection and I later learned he went above and beyond and had a infectious disease specialist look at the x ray just to be safe and as he suspected it was even more serious. Since that day he has always been my main doctor. I would also like to add that I have a serious long term health condition and most doctors would generally attribute many of my current and past health issues to my main condition (it usually is the case) but Dr. Michael always looks at whatever is happening to me at the moment as if I was a new patient. This is probably his biggest talent and gift as a doctor as he has on more than one occasion over the years thought outside the box with me and has figured out quickly why I was sick at the time - sometimes it was minor but more than a few times it was really serious. His quick way of thinking and knowledge and intuition is what kept me from getting sicker and going into the hospital. If you are looking for a doctor that actually treats you like a person and not a number then see this man. I am not a celebrity or a wealthy person - far from it - but he treats me like I am - many Vets like myself go to the VA and its a great blessing but I just do not have the energy to go there as its so big. Dr. Michael is seriously brilliant and really patient and I am truly thankful I found him.

Edward Dragavon

Dr. Michael takes the time to explain the meaning of medical terms and test results in a way that a lay person can understand. He is very thorough and answers any question that you may have. His staff is also very professional and competent at their tasks. Given a choice, I wouldn't go anywhere else.

Tim Whalen

Dr. Michael is an intelligent caring human being who is focused on positive outcomes. He has a great ability to synthesize the details of lab results and other tests into preventive measures. I greatly respect his approach to care.

William Barry

A very smart and caring doctor. Very intuitive and yet he will base his decisions on test data. Patient for over 10 years. 5 stars

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logo Brent J. Michael, MD Santa Monica, CA

Brent J. Michael, MD

2001 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 880W
Santa Monica, CA 90404



Mon-Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM