Symptoms of Sciatica

Our legs and feet are our foundation. When these get disrupted, our whole world can be thrown off balance. The sciatic nerve plays a huge role in this foundation. When our sciatic nerve becomes irritated or pinched, it can lead to excruciating pain and disruptions in one’s daily life. So, what signs can you look for to know if your sciatic nerve is causing your lower back problems?

Here at Advanced Spine, our board-certified physicians have years of experience in the field of spine care. Doctors Gatto, Lowenstein, and Naseef have all been recognized as Top Doctors by New Jersey Monthly Magazine. In fact, each surgeon specializes in the conservative treatment of conditions that can lead to sciatic pinching or radiculopathy. Alongside you, they will work to find the source of your discomfort and chart a treatment plan that will address your personal needs and therapy interests.

Causes of Sciatica

The Harvard Medical School reports that nearly 40% of individuals will experience some degree of sciatic pain in their lifetime. And, the occurrence of such cases only increases with age. This is often attributed to the size of the sciatic nerve system and the location of the nerves that compose this system. Many of the nerves in the sciatic system lie between vertebrae and other structures such as ligaments and muscles. Because of this proximity to other structures, one of the main sources of sciatic pain is a pinching of the sciatic nerve or any of its roots. This pinching can be caused by a variety of factors, including: injury, bulging or herniated discs, lumbar spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease or arthritis, spondylolisthesis, spinal tumors, pregnancy, obesity, or lack of exercise and movement. In fact, even the type of mattress you sleep on can irritate the sciatic nerve.

Not sure what some of these terms or conditions mean? An index of spine conditions that we treat can be found on our website under the “Conditions” heading. Or, you can contact us today to have any of your questions answered. The good news is that for most, you can manage, treat, or improve your sciatica with nonsurgical interventions.

Sciatica Treatment Options

Pain Medication

Oral medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, are often an integral part of recovering from sciatica pain. Medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen may be suggested, whereas oral steroids may work best for others.


A microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive surgical solution that uses a microscope to visualize, remove, or repair a lumbar herniated disc. Removing a ruptured disc relieves sciatic nerve pain and neurological symptoms by decompressing the pinched sciatic nerve. Read more...


A common form of treatment for sciatica, spinal injections target the pain at its source. Administered in intervals, your physician will inject a cortisol steroid directly into the location of irritation. This will help to reduce inflammation, pain, and immobility.


A laminectomy is a common form of surgical correction for sciatica that results from spinal stenosis. During this procedure, your surgeon will remove a portion of the lamina (the vertebral sheath that protects the spinal cord) to decompress pinched nerve tissue. Read more...