Conditions We Treat

NJNBI offers a wide range of treatment options for common conditions affecting all aspects of the spine including:

Spondylolisthesis occurs when one of the vertebrae of the spine slides out of place, with the most common occurrence in the lower back (lumbar) region.

Cervical spondylosis is the result of degenerative disc disease, where the facet joints within the spine begin to develop arthritis from increased pressure.

Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (aka spinal cord compression) is a condition where narrowing of the spinal canal occurs due to wear and tear over time.

Degenerative disc disease is not a disease but rather a term used to describe the normal changes in the spinal discs over the course of time.

Also known as adult onset scoliosis, degenerative scoliosis is when the curvature of the spine is caused by the degeneration of the facet joints.

A herniated disc, also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, is one of the most common spinal injuries. Learn about the causes and diagnosis here.

While there are a variety of causes for lower back pain, the majority of them result from the natural degeneration of parts of the spine.

Lumbar spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal narrows, compressing the spinal cord and nerves in the lower back.

Neck pain is a common problem categorized as discomfort in the neck area. Read more about the common symptoms and treatment options available.

Radiculopathy is a condition that causes radiating pain into the extremities along the course of a spinal nerve root, commonly in the lower back and neck.

Sciatica is a condition that causes pain that radiates through the sciatic nerve, which runs through the lower back then splits and travels down each leg.

A spinal tumor is an abnormal tissue growth typically associated with cancer. Learn about the 3 types of spinal tumors as well as diagnosis and treatments.

A vertebral compression fracture is a vertebra in the spine that has decreased in height, between 15 to 20 percent, due to a fracture.

An Overview

Sciatica is a condition characterized by pain that radiates through the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs through the lower back then separates and travels down each buttocks and leg.

Sciatica typically occurs when a bone spur or herniated disc impinges or “pinches” the spinal nerves that form the sciatic nerve. In rare cases, the sciatic nerve may be compressed by a tumor in the spine or damaged by disease.

There are a few factors that may contribute to the condition including:

  • Age: As we age, the spine naturally degenerates, resulting in conditions such as herniated discs and bone spurs.
  • Disease: Disease such as diabetes can cause nerve damage resulting in sciatic pain.
  • Extended sitting: Patients who sit for prolonged periods of time or have a sedentary lifestyle are more prone to getting sciatica.
  • Obesity: Pressure on the spine from excess body weight can cause changes in the spine that can trigger sciatica.
  • Occupation: Jobs that involve heavy lifting or driving for long periods of time may aggravate the sciatic nerve.

Symptoms of Sciatica

Normally affecting only one side of the body, sciatica is pain that spreads from the lumbar (lower back) section of the spine and down the back of your leg. The pain may range from mild aching to severe, debilitating discomfort and may feel like a sudden, electric jolt.

In addition to the pain, some patients may experience tingling, numbness or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot.

How Is Sciatica Diagnosed?

In order to confirm a diagnosis of sciatica, Dr. LaRocca will conduct a physical exam to assess reflexes and muscle strength. During the exam you may be asked to perform tasks such as rising from a squatting position, standing on your toes or lifting your legs in the air while lying down. Pain resulting from any of these activities typically signals sciatica.

If pain from the condition has not significantly reduced within several weeks, this may be an indication that the sciatica may be caused by compression of the nerve. If another condition is suspected, Dr. LaRocca may request additional testing such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a computerized tomography (CT) scan.

What Treatment Options Are Available For Sciatica?

At the New Jersey Back & Spine Institute, spine specialist Dr. LaRocca and his experienced, compassionate team of professionals may offer treatment options for sciatica which include:

  • Medications such as anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants or narcotics
  • Minimally invasive laminotomy with discectomy surgery
  • Physical therapy to correct posture, strengthen muscles and improve flexibility
  • Steroid injections

Have Another Question?

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.