Can Uterine Fibroids Cause Sciatica Pain?
You’ve been complaining about an ache in your lower back near your hip for months. Some days, the pain can range from a sharp knife to a dull aching that just won’t go away. You continue taking over-the-counter pain medication to numb the pain, but you’re worried that it could mean something more. If you’re experiencing back pain and unsure why, keep reading to see if this common, uterine condition could be to blame.
What Are Uterine Fibroids?
Uterine fibroids are one of the most common reproductive diseases affecting between 70-80% of all women before the age of 50. Fibroids are firm tumors that are made up of fibrous connective tissue and smooth muscle cells. They range from as small as a seed to larger than a melon and can be located in various places within the uterus.
Some women experience severe symptoms affecting their daily life, while others may not experience any pain or discomfort at all. Many women may mistake their fibroid symptoms for regular period pain. It’s important to know that your period’s length, heaviness, or regularity shouldn’t be negatively impacting your life. If so, it’s important to track these changes to see if fibroids could be the underlying cause.
Other uterine fibroid symptoms include:
- Pain during sex
- Fatigue caused by anemia
- Frequent urination
- Severe cramps or pelvic pain
- Abdominal bloating
- Lower back or leg pain
Every woman has a unique experience when it comes to uterine fibroids. If you’re only experiencing one of the above symptoms, it is still a good idea to get checked to see if fibroids could be the cause.
How fibroids impact surrounding areas of the body
If fibroids grow to be large or numerous, they can impact surrounding areas and organs in the general vicinity. This is why fibroids can cause frequent urination, constipation, or back pain. Due to the fact that fibroids can grow outward from the uterus or if they are located towards the back of the uterus, they can put pressure on nerves around the spinal column. If fibroids grow large and compress against the sciatic nerve, this pain can travel down to the back and legs.
How to know if your sciatica pain is caused by fibroids
There are many potential causes of sciatica and back pain other than fibroids. Some of these include:
- A narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back.
- Muscle spasms in the back or buttocks area.
- A second or third trimester pregnancy.
- If a vertebra slips forward over another vertebra.
- A breakdown of spinal discs.
- Pinched nerve that may mimic sciatica pain.
- Injury from lifting heavy objects or exercising without stretching can also mimic sciatica pain.
If you are having back or leg pain but do not have other symptoms of fibroids, you should still mention this possible cause to your doctor to make sure they check if they aren’t able to diagnose another issue.
However, if you think your sciatic, back, or leg pain could be caused by fibroids, there is a nonsurgical, outpatient treatment that reduce the size of your fibroids and help eliminate this pain.
How are uterine fibroids treated?
At USA Fibroid Centers, we treat uterine fibroids with a minimally invasive treatment option known as Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). UFE offers many benefits including:
- Preserve your uterus and retain fertility.
- Avoid hospital bills and stays.
- No hormone interference.
- No general anesthesia, stitches, or scarring.
- Shorter recovery than surgeries.
- Lower risk of complications compared to invasive procedures.
- Effective at eliminating symptoms.
Many women put off getting their fibroids treated simply because they do not want to undergo a major surgery. If you are hesitant about your treatment decision, it’s not right for you. It’s important to know that there are nonsurgical alternatives that are available.
How UFE treats sciatica pain caused by fibroids
UFE uses the body’s natural pathways, the arteries, to administer tiny, embolic agents that block the artery supplying blood and nutrients to the fibroid. Once the artery has been cut off, the fibroid will shrink on its own and eventually die. As the fibroid shrinks, you should expect to get relief from sciatica, lower back, or leg pain because the fibroid is not exerting pressure on those nerves anymore.
If you are interested in learning more about UFE or want to make an appointment, give us a call at 855-615-2555 or schedule online HERE.