Beejal Y. Amin MD

Sciatica Specialist

Sciatica services offered in Hinsdale and Woodridge, IL

The nerve compression that causes sciatica can result in tingling, numbness, and weakness and cause pain in your lower back and leg. If you’ve got severe sciatica, board-certified neurosurgeon Beejal Amin, MD, FAANS, can help. Dr. Amin has offices in Oak Lawn, South Holland, and Orland Park, Illinois. He can evaluate your sciatica and recommend an effective treatment, including sophisticated spine surgery. Call Beejal Y. Amin MD today or book an appointment online to get relief from your sciatica symptoms.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a cause of back and leg pain arising from spinal nerve compression (radiculopathy).

The nerves from your spinal cord extend through gaps in the vertebrae and spread throughout your body. In your lower (lumbar) spine, the large sciatic nerve travels down through your pelvis and branches into each leg.

Pressure on the lumbar nerve root triggers sciatica (lumbar radiculopathy). Most people suffer problems in one leg, following the path of a single branch of the nerve. But both legs can be affected.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

Sciatica causes stabbing, shooting, or electric-shocklike pain from your lower spine into your leg. The pain is often worse in your hip or buttock and can spread part or all the way down your leg to the bottom of the sciatic nerve.

In addition to pain down your leg, sciatica can cause other problems, including:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Prickling or burning sensations
  • Muscle spasms

If it’s severe, sciatica can affect your ability to control your bladder and bowels, leading to incontinence.

Discovering your symptoms and completing a physical exam give Dr. Amin a good idea of what’s wrong. You will need an MRI to confirm the diagnosis and determine where the nerve is compressed.

What causes sciatica?

The nerve pressure that triggers sciatica can be caused by:

  • Herniated or bulging discs
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowed spinal canal)
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Muscle spasms
  • Later stages of pregnancy

You’re more at risk of developing sciatica if you’re inactive or overweight. Regularly wearing high-heeled shoes can also increase your chances of getting sciatica.

How is sciatica treated?

Sciatica treatment reduces the pressure on your sciatic nerve, relieving your symptoms. Treatments include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Rest and gentle exercise
  • Physical therapy
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Nerve blocks

Weight loss can help relieve sciatica in patients who are overweight or obese.

Would I need surgery for sciatica?

Most people with sciatica don’t need surgery — the treatments listed above effectively relieve their symptoms. But some patients don’t respond so well and continue to suffer severe pain and limited mobility. If you’re one of them, Dr. Amin offers surgery.

The surgery you need for sciatica will depend on the root cause of your symptoms. If it’s a herniated disc, you might benefit from a discectomy to remove the disc herniation. Dr. Amin may need to fuse the bones in your spine where the disc is missing or replace it with an artificial disc.

For spinal stenosis, Dr. Amin can do decompression surgery. He makes more room for the lumbar nerves by removing bone and tissue in the spinal canal.

Call Beejal Y. Amin MD today or book an appointment online to find relief from your sciatica symptoms.