I have been having trouble with sciatica off and on for the last eight months. I have been using a back support and doing the exercises given to me by a physical therapist. Is there anything else that might help take care of this problem?

Sciatica is the term used to describe low back pain that goes into the buttock and travels down the back of the leg. The cause is usually pressure on the spinal nerve. This can happen because of arthritic changes in the spine, disc protrusion, tumors, or other changes in bone structure.

Treatment usually ranges from medications and bed rest to active exercise and physical therapy. You may want to ask your doctor about steroid injections. These have been used successfully for many years.

Recently, injection technique has improved with a new X-ray imaging called fluoroscopy. Fluoroscopy allows the doctor to guide the needle right to the problem area and inject the medication directly at the nerve. There are fewer complications with this treatment than with blind injection. You may only need one injection. Treating with this type of injection works best before symptoms are present a full year and when the treatment is combined with a rehabilitation program.