Sciatica Treatment & Pain Relief in Princeton & Staten Island
What is sciatica?
Sciatica refers to back pain that results from compression of the sciatic nerve in the spine. This causes radiating pain that flows along the sciatic nerve, which begins in the lower back and runs through the hips, buttocks, and down the back of the legs. Often, sciatica will only manifest on one side of the body and is usually the result of an underlying spinal condition. Sciatica is one type of radiculopathy, which is defined as a disease of the spinal nerves and spinal nerve roots.
New Jersey Spine Surgeons has extensive experience treating sciatica and restoring your spinal health. Schedule an appointment with our orthopedic spine doctors in Princeton and Staten Island for sciatica treatment and relief.
What causes sciatica?
Sciatica is caused when pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve in the back (known as a pinched nerve), which can stem from several possible causes, including:
- Herniated disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Bone spur on the spine
- Tumor on the spine (in rare cases)
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Symptoms associated with sciatica will vary depending on the severity of the condition and the individual. The most common symptoms associated with sciatica include:
- Pain that moves from the spine to the back of the leg
- Discomfort anywhere along the sciatic nerve
- Numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness in legs or feet
- Sharp burning sensation in lower back or legs
- Pain when sneezing or coughing
- Mild ache in back of legs
When should I see a doctor for sciatica relief?
Many people suffering from sciatica are able to achieve sciatic nerve relief with rest and self-care measures. If you have any of the above symptoms for a longer amount of time, it is important to see an experienced spine specialist with New Jersey Spine Surgeons for sciatica treatment. If your sciatica is accompanied by sudden severe pain, follows a traumatic injury, or if you have trouble controlling your bowels, seek medical attention from a sciatica doctor immediately.
How is sciatica diagnosed?
If you are experiencing any symptoms that may be indicative of sciatica, proper evaluation from a spine specialist is important for getting a diagnosis. At New Jersey Spine Surgeons, our doctors will evaluate your symptoms and provide an accurate diagnosis following a physical examination, medical history, and any necessary diagnostic testing. Your doctor may ask you to perform some movements, such as walking, standing on your toes, or lifting your legs during the evaluation. Sciatica pain usually worsens with these motions. Additionally, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following diagnostic tests:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Computerized tomography (CT scan)
- Electromyography (EMG)
These tests can be used to create images that help determine whether you have a spinal condition that is causing nerve compression and/or irregular nerve impulses.
What does sciatica treatment involve?
Sciatica treatment and pain relief is possible at New Jersey Spine Surgeons. Our goal is to restore your back functionality with the least invasive approach. In many cases, conservative treatment may prove effective at providing sciatica relief. Treatment options depend on each patient’s needs and symptoms, and may involve:
- Avoiding painful positions and activities that cause pain
- Taking pain medications, either over-the-counter or prescription medications depending on the level of pain
- Undergoing physical therapy
- Taking anticonvulsant medications (for radiating nerve pain)
- Taking muscle relaxer medications (for muscle spasms)
- Getting a cortisone injection
If symptoms are severe, worsen over time, or don’t respond well to conservative therapies, surgery may be recommended in order to treat sciatica and fix any related spine problems.
Some of the sciatica surgery options that may be recommended include:
- Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
- Minimally invasive posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)
- Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)
- Oblique lumbar interbody fusion (OLIF)
- Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF)
- Axial fusion
If you believe you may be suffering from sciatica, the first step to achieving sciatica pain relief is scheduling an evaluation with an experienced spine specialist. At New Jersey Spine Surgeons, we are dedicated to the preservation of motion and function through the latest minimally invasive spine procedures and treatments. Call (844)-7-NJSPINE today or fill out the form on this page to request a consultation at our Princeton and Staten Island orthopedic clinics.