Patient Information Resources

Centre for Orthopaedics
Suite 10-33/34/35 Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road
Singapore, 329563, Singapore
Ph: (65) 6684 5828
Fax: (65) 6684 5829

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I have a back problem, a slipped disk that happened at work a few years ago. But that's not what hurts me now. Instead, I have a very sharp pain about a quarter of the way down my buttock and it shoots up into my back or down my leg from time to time. Is that sciatica?

The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back, down through the buttock to the leg, on both the left and right sides. Sciatica isn't really a disorder itself, but a symptom of a problem, like the back pain you describe. If you have a slipped disk that is pressing down on a sciatic nerve root, this can cause the pain that you are feeling lower down.

There are several treatments that may help relieve sciatic pain, but since the pain is a symptom, before doing anything you should see your doctor. It's not safe to assume that it's your old back injury that is causing this problem because it could be something new. Some of the stretching exercises that work wonderfully well for some people can actually make it worse for others, depending on the cause.

Once your doctor has confirmed the reason for the pain, you might be treated through medications for pain and/or inflammation, physical therapy, back bracing, or even surgery.


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