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About Sciatica 

About Sciatica

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes injured or irritated and results in pain in the buttocks/gluteal area. The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in the body and is made up of five nerve roots: two are located in the lower back region called the lumbar spine and 3 are located at the bottom section of the spine called the sacrum.

What Causes Sciatica?

Different conditions can cause irritation, pinching, or compression to the sciatic nerve, this includes:

  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Trauma
  • Pregnancy

A person is at greater risk of developing sciatica if they:

  • Have an injury
  • Are overweight
  • Have diabetes
  • Have osteoarthritis
  • Smoke
  • Have a sedentary lifestyle

Symptoms of Sciatica

Patients with sciatica experience moderate to severe pain in the lower back, buttocks and leg. The pain may worsen during movement or lack of movement.
Numbness or weakness
There may also be numbness or weakness in the lower back, buttocks, leg or feet.
Other Symptoms
Other symptoms include incontinence and paraesthesia (pins and needles) in their legs, toes or feet.

A Message About Sciatica Pain

Sciatica commonly refers to pain radiating into the leg from the back or buttock into the knee or calf/foot. This pattern of pain may worsen when standing, moving or walking.

70% of Sciatica refer to a nerve impingement syndrome arising from the lumbar spine, due to nerve compression from a slipped disc or bone spur.

30% of Sciatica are nerve irritation from outside the spine, from the overstretched or injured piriformis muscle, causing a similar effect on the respective nerve.

Treatment would be targeted at the different sites of nerve compression to achieve nerve clearance.

Diagnosing Sciatica

Here at Singapore Paincare, our team of experienced primary care doctors and pain care specialists together with a neurologist or orthopaedic will evaluate your condition. A spinal X-ray, MRI or CT scan may also be needed to check the severity of the condition.

What Treatments Are Available for Sciatica?

At Singapore Paincare, we strive to treat your pain with the least invasive option possible after accurately identifying the cause. Our pain resolution approach focuses on removing pain generators via specialised injection and minimally invasive procedures. Combined with pharmacological treatments and cognitive and physical rehabilitative therapies, we help patients improve their functionality and prevent pain from recurring

Non-Surgical Treatments for Sciatica

Apart from NSAIDS, our physicians and specialists offer medications to improve sciatica pain such as muscle relaxants, antidepressants and anti-seizure medications.
Coreflex Injection
Our Coreflex injection uses a mix of local anaesthetic, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant, which helps to break the pain cycle, reduce inflammation, and improve healing.
Physical Therapy
The therapy sessions by our specialists involve stretching and training to reduce pain. It also consists of isometric exercises to increase mobility and muscle function. However, the intensity and type of exercise may differ based on the conditions of the patient.
Disc Ablation
A specialised needle is applied to the slipped disc in a targeted manner within the herniated component. A radiofrequency or ablation treatment is used to shrink the herniated disc.
A balloon catheter is used to mechanically dilate and open the narrowed area within the compressed spinal canal. A balloon dilatation will break free any adhesions and push away and free the entrapped nerve.

Surgical Treatments for Sciatica

Surgery may be considered if sciatica pain does not improve with the non-surgical treatment methods and the patient has worsening pain and severe weakness in the lower extremity muscles. As surgery always come with associated risk, complications and downtime, it may not be suitable for everyone. A thorough evaluation of both non-surgical and surgical options should be conducted before deciding whether to undergo surgery.

Using this minimally invasive procedure, fragments from a herniated disk that are pressing on a nerve are removed.
This procedure involves removing the lamina (part of the vertebral bone that covers the spinal canal) that is causing pressure on the sciatic nerve.

How Can I Prevent Sciatica?

Some causes of sciatica may not be preventable. However, you can follow these tips to protect your back:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a good posture
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Opt for low-impact activities such as swimming, walking, yoga or tai chi

Get Your Pain Resolved

Send your enquiries or consult our pain experts today.

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