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Sciatica Specialist

Louisiana Pain Institute

Cathy Zhang, MD

Pain Management & Cosmetics located in Covington, LA & Denham Springs, LA

If you’re struggling with sciatica pain that’s not resolving on its own, relief may be just a doctor’s visit away. Book an appointment with Cathy Zhang, MD, at Louisiana Pain Institute, with locations in Covington and Denham Springs, Louisiana. Dr. Zhang can treat sciatica using a wide range of nonsurgical or minimally invasive and non-narcotic solutions. Don’t let your pain linger. Schedule your sciatica appointment online or over the phone today.

Sciatica Q&A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is pain caused by pressure on or an injury to the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back down into both legs. Sciatica feels kind of like a cramp and runs the gamut from a dull ache to a sharp, excruciating, and burning sensation. 

In addition to radiating pain from your back to your legs, sciatica symptoms include:

  • Pain that worsens when you sneeze, cough, or sit
  • “Pins and needles” numbness in your leg
  • Leg weakness

Usually, you experience sciatic nerve pain in your lower back, hips, legs, and/or buttocks. Sometimes, you even feel it in your feet. Usually, you only feel sciatica on one side of your body.

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica happens when something pinches your sciatic nerve, and causes include: 

  • A herniated disc
  • Vertebra bone overgrowth (a bone spur)
  • Injury with inflammation
  • An infection
  • Muscle spasms
  • Aging

Pregnant women can also experience sciatica when the uterus presses the sciatic nerve.

How do you treat sciatica?

Frequently, sciatica resolves within a few weeks. However, if your sciatica is chronic, debilitating, or extremely painful, Dr. Zhang at Louisiana Pain Institute can help. Depending on the severity and longevity of your sciatica, she may suggest treatments like:

Trigger point injections

If your sciatica originates with pressure from a muscle knot or tension affecting the sciatic nerve, trigger point injections may provide you with relief. 

During a trigger point injection, Dr. Zhang injects the offending muscle with an anesthetic. To make the most of your treatment, she may recommend you also attend physical therapy. 

Selective nerve root block injections

A selective nerve root block (SNRB) injection treats an inflamed spinal nerve.

SNRBs are usually composed of a steroid or a steroid with anesthetic. Dr. Zhang injects them near the spinal nerve where it exits the intervertebral foramen, which is the bony opening between adjacent vertebrae. 

The steroid reduces inflammation and numbs the pain transmitted by the sciatic nerve.

Epidural steroid injections

Epidural steroid injections work well with sciatica brought on by inflammation from conditions like spinal stenosis, disc herniation, or degenerative disc disease. 

These injections work by controlling the inflammatory response around the sciatic nerve and reducing the immune system’s busy work making inflammatory cells. Pain relief from epidural steroid injections can last a week to a year.

The Vertiflex™ Procedure

The Vertiflex Procedure is a same-day, minimally invasive solution for chronic sciatica and other conditions that compress or restrict the nerves.

During the procedure, Dr. Zhang implants a small spacer inside the spine that provides much-needed space for your nerves to decompress. It also provides stability.

If you’ve been experiencing sciatica for more than three months, or you’re in excruciating pain, contact Louisiana Pain Institute by phone or online today to schedule a consultation.