California Pain Institute -  - Pain Management Physician

Rebecca Kerr, MD

Pain Management Physician located in Westchester, Los Angeles, CA & South Bay, Torrance, CA

Sciatica Specialist

Sciatica symptoms can interfere with many daily activities. Dr. Rebecca Kerr offers a variety of treatments for sciatica at the California Pain Institute in the Torrance area of Los Angeles.

Sciatica Q & A

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica is another name for pain that radiates down the back of the leg. In some cases, the pain may be caused by a herniated or ruptured disc. Discs are cushions of cartilage between the bones (vertebrae) of the back. They can herniate, or rupture, and protrude into the spinal canal, putting pressure on the spinal cord. Sometimes surgery is required but in other cases, surgery is not indicated, and chronic pain results from the ongoing nerve irritation.

What Are the Symptoms of Sciatica?

Sciatica is not a disease or medical diagnosis, but a collection of symptoms that indicate an underlying medical condition. It may cause low back pain but the cardinal sign of sciatica is pain that travels down the back of the leg. The sciatic nerve originates in the low back and travels through the buttock to the lower leg; pain may occur anywhere along its length. Pain may be intermittent or constant and may be worse when sitting. In addition, tingling, numbness and weakness of the leg may also occur.

How Is Sciatica Treated?

In some cases, sciatica can be treated by dealing with the underlying condition. For example, a ruptured disc may need to be surgically removed. Non-surgical treatments include over-the-counter medication, physical therapy, pain medications, medications to relieve muscle spasms, and medications that specifically target nerve pain. X-ray guided epidural steroid injections can target the exact anatomic source of pain resulting in relief which may last for a number of months. Some patients benefit from massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, and/or acupuncture.

Does Self-Management Help?

Self-management is an important part of living with sciatica. Proper body mechanics (how the patient moves) and avoiding heavy lifting can reduce stress on the back and prevent further injury. Although exercise is important, the right kind of exercise is even more so, as some exercises can exacerbate sciatic pain. In an acute flare, alternating heat and ice on the low back can help alleviate leg pain. Getting adequate sleep reduces stress, helps relieve depression and anxiety, and promotes overall health. Weight loss can relieve stress on the back.

Insurance Providers

Dr. Kerr accepts most major insurance providers. Please call our office for more information. 

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Anthem Blue Cross of California
Blue Cross
Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program
Blue Shield

Words from our patients

  • Yelp

    " I think Dr. Kerr is great. She takes tons of time with each patient and explains things thoroughly...She is extremely smart and truly knows what she is talking about."

    Cyndi C.
  • Yelp

    "...I wanted a doctor who was thoroughly experienced in administering medications...[and] I felt most comfortable with Dr. Kerr's background...I recommend..."

    Denise D.
  • Vitals

    "I highly recommend her to anyone experiencing pain for any reason...she is well trained in managing these powerful medications and in understanding the nature of pain."

    Denise D.
  • RateMDs

    "Outstanding pain specialist. ..she does interventional therapies...I highly recommend."

    Verified Patient
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