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Sciatica Specialist

SamWell Institute for Pain Management

Jay M. Shah, MD

Pain Management Specialist located in Colonia, NJ & Livingston, NJ

Up to 40% of American adults experience the pain, numbness, and muscle weakness of sciatica. Double board-certified pain management expert Dr. Jay M. Shah diagnoses and treats sciatica at SamWell Institute for Pain Management in Colonia, New Jersey. He offers innovative, personalized care to relieve your symptoms and help you get back to your regular activities. If you’re concerned about sciatica, call the practice or schedule a consultation online today.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica develops when injury or inflammation compresses your sciatic nerve. Your sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body. It starts in your lower back before splitting and traveling down the backs of both of your legs. 

Sciatica includes a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in your buttocks, hips, and legs
  • Numbness and tingling in your legs
  • Shooting electrical sensations in your legs
  • Muscle weakness
  • Balance problems

Depending on the location of your nerve compression, you might have symptoms on one or both sides of your body. Your symptoms might also worsen when you sit, bend or twist your spine, or transition between sitting and standing. 

What causes sciatica?

Any injury or condition that compresses your sciatic nerve can cause sciatica. A herniated disc is the most common cause of sciatica. Because there is so little spare space in your spinal column, the bulge of a herniated disc in your lumbar spine has a high likelihood of compressing your sciatic nerve.

Other common causes of sciatica include:


Your risk of sciatica increases if you’re overweight, lead a sedentary lifestyle, or have a career that puts excessive stress on your lower back. 

How do you diagnose sciatica?

Dr. Shah usually diagnoses sciatica with a physical exam and consultation. He reviews your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle and feels your spine. Dr. Shah might ask you to perform some stretches that are known to trigger sciatica symptoms.

Dr. Shah also uses diagnostic imaging studies such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to evaluate the internal structures of your lower back and identify the condition causing your sciatica symptoms. 

How do you treat sciatica?

Dr. Shah provides customized treatment plans to relieve your sciatica symptoms and heal the underlying cause. Depending on your individual needs, he might recommend:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Spinal injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Weight loss

If conservative therapies don’t relieve your pain, Dr. Shah might recommend surgery to repair your spine and relieve the pressure on your sciatic nerve. 

For example, he offers minimally invasive lumbar decompression (MILD) procedures to remove a small part of the lamina, thereby creating additional space in your spine. He also provides VertiFlex™ Superion™ spinal procedures.

If you have sciatica symptoms, don’t delay treatment. Call SamWell Institute for Pain Management or make an appointment online today.

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