Sciatica services offered in Delray Beach, FL


Low back pain that radiates into your buttocks and leg is a common symptom of sciatica, a nerve pain condition. At Palm Beach Pain Institute in Delray Beach, Florida, pain management expert Marcie Merson, MD, recommends scheduling an appointment if you have sciatica symptoms. She can find the cause of your pain and create a plan, so you experience long-term relief. Call the office or request an appointment using the online booking feature today.

What is the difference between low back pain and sciatica?

Though you may have discomfort in the lower part of your back, sciatica isn’t the same as low back pain.

Low back pain has many causes, like sciatica, herniated discs, and arthritis. Sciatica is a nerve condition that causes pain from compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve is a bundle of nerves that exit the lumbar spine, come together in the buttocks, and travel down the back of each leg. It’s a sensory and motor nerve for the lower leg. 

A pinched spinal nerve, also called radiculopathy, from a herniated disc or bone spur in the lumbar spine (lower back) is a common cause of sciatica. That’s why it’s associated with low back pain.

Pinched nerves may occur in any part of the spine. Cervical radiculopathy is a pinched nerve in the neck that causes radiating pain in the arm or upper back. 

What does sciatica feel like?

Sciatica feels different to everyone. However, most people have pain that radiates from the lower back into the buttocks and down the back of the leg on one side of the body. 

The leg pain with sciatica is worse than the back pain, causing burning, tingling, or numbness. 

When should I seek pain management for sciatica?

You should schedule a consultation with Dr. Merson at Palm Beach Pain Institute if you have sciatica symptoms that last longer than a week or if you have severe pain. 

Dr. Merson also recommends scheduling an appointment if your pain is a recurring problem. Though most people recover from sciatica, the pain may return from time to time.

During your visit, Dr. Merson reviews your symptoms and medical history and performs a physical exam. She may check muscle strength and reflexes and order imaging studies to find the cause of your symptoms.

What treatments benefit sciatica?

Dr. Merson customizes sciatica treatment plans based on the type, severity, and cause of your symptoms. Treatment may include:

  • Heat and ice therapy
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Physical therapy
  • Osteopathic manual therapy (OMT)

Sciatica symptoms usually improve within six weeks. If you continue to have pain following conservative care, Dr. Merson may recommend an epidural steroid injection to reduce inflammation and pain.

Call Palm Beach Pain Institute or book an appointment with Dr. Merson online today to relieve your sciatica.