When pain shoots down from your buttocks through your thigh, you may have sciatica, which is usually caused by a slipped or herniated vertebral disc aggravating your sciatic nerve. Let Dr. Bonaventure Ngu, a renowned orthopaedic spine surgeon and founder of Premier Spine Institute — located in The Woodlands, Texas — alleviate your sciatica. If you’re ready to relieve your sciatic nerve pain, call or use the online booking form to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ngu.

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What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a painful condition caused by damage to or impingement of the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in your body. The sciatic nerve originates at the base of your spinal column and then splits into left and right nerve branches, each of which travels down your corresponding leg, behind each knee and calf, and down toward each foot.

Most of the time, you get sciatica because one of your vertebral discs has slipped or herniated and is pressing on the sciatic nerve. Sciatic nerve pain usually occurs on just one side of your body.

What does sciatica feel like?

The classic symptom of sciatica is a sharp pain that shoots from your back down your leg, sometimes even traveling to your foot. But you can feel other symptoms, too, such as:

  • Dull pain
  • A burning sensation
  • Leg tingling or numbness
  • Pain when sitting or trying to stand up
  • Pain that gets worse when coughing or sneezing

How did I get sciatica?

Aging is the main culprit of sciatica because the chemical changes in your body cause your discs to thin and become susceptible to rupture. Your risk for sciatica increases if you:

  • Are overweight or obese
  • Do a lot of heavy lifting
  • Engage in manual labor
  • Sit for prolonged periods without a break
  • Have diabetes or another condition that damages nerves

How does Dr. Ngu treat sciatica?

Luckily, Dr. Ngu can resolve your pain with physical therapy that builds up the strength of your spine and takes pressure off of your sciatic nerve.

You can also control your sciatic pain with over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If they’re not sufficient, or if you also have muscle spasms, Dr. Ngu may prescribe a muscle relaxant to stop the spasms or an antidepressant to block pain.

For more severe or chronic sciatica, Dr. Ngu may administer epidural steroid injections near the root of your sciatic nerve to alleviate your pain and lessen swelling and inflammation in the spine. Epidural injections can give you pain relief for months or even longer.

You don’t have to put up with the pain of sciatica. Get relief by booking a consultation with Dr. Ngu at Premier Spine Institute. You can call the closest office or use the handy online form to set up your appointment.