Sciatica services offered in Mount Laurel, Sewell, Galloway, Wall and Vineland, NJ

Sciatica is a common back problem that causes pain, numbness, tingling, and/or burning in your buttock and down your leg. If you develop sciatica symptoms, visit a Coastal Spine office in Mount Laurel, Sewell, Galloway, Wall Township, or Vineland, New Jersey. The highly skilled spine specialists determine the cause of your pain and offer extensive treatment to relieve it. Call Coastal Spine today or book an appointment online for superior sciatica care.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a common lower back condition where pain travels down your leg. Sometimes both legs are affected, but usually only one.

Sciatica develops when pressure is put on your sciatic nerve. This large nerve extends from your lower (lumbar) spine into the pelvis, where it divides in two. One sciatic nerve branch goes down each leg into the feet.

Nerve compression in the spine is called radiculopathy. Sciatica is lumbar radiculopathy because it affects the lower (lumbar) spine.

What causes sciatica?

Sciatic nerve pressure can be caused by:

  • Herniated discs
  • Muscle spasms
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Arthritis and bone spurs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Pregnancy

Leading an inactive life, carrying excess body weight, or regularly wearing high-heeled shoes increases your risk of sciatica.

What symptoms does sciatica cause?

Sciatica pain is a distinctive stabbing, shooting, or electric-shock like sensation that’s often worse in the buttock and leg. It follows the path of your sciatic nerve, so it can affect part or all of the leg. Sciatica pain gets worse when you sit or lie down. You might also experience:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Prickling sensation
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Weakness
  • Reduced mobility

Severe sciatica can affect bladder and bowel function, leading to incontinence (an inability to retain stools or urine until you reach a toilet).

How is sciatica treated?

Coastal Spine begins sciatica treatments conservatively. Your doctor could prescribe medication to reduce tissue inflammation and physical therapy to restore function. Using ice packs at home, avoiding activities that make your symptoms worse, and not wearing high heels can also help you recover.

Following a physical therapy program for several weeks or months reduces many patients’ sciatica symptoms. If you aren’t improving, your doctor might recommend image-guided epidural steroid injections. These contain potent anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain.

Coastal Spine offers advanced treatments like radiofrequency ablation to patients whose symptoms still don’t improve. This minimally invasive procedure delivers radio wave energy to the spinal nerves, preventing them from sending pain signals to your brain.

Could I need surgery for sciatica?

Most patients don’t need surgery for sciatica. But if conservative treatments don’t work, Coastal Spine’s skilled surgeons offer several surgeries. These include discectomy (herniated disc removal) and microdiscectomy (partial herniated disc removal).

Following discectomy, your surgeon fuses the vertebrae on either side to ensure your spine is stable and pain-free.

Call Coastal Spine today or book an appointment online to benefit from effective sciatica treatment.