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Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI)

Neurological Surgery & Neurointerventional Surgeons located in Pomona, CA & Arcadia, CA

If you regularly have shooting pain down your leg, it could be sciatica. Damage in the sciatic nerve — the longest nerve in your body — can be excruciatingly painful, so it’s important to seek help from the expert team at the Inland Neurosurgery Institute, located in Pomona and Arcadia, California, if you suspect you have sciatica. Call the office nearest you or request a visit online today.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

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Sciatica means inflammation within your sciatic nerve. This nerve starts around your hips, then branches and travels through each of the buttocks and down each leg. 

Nerve inflammation is often quite painful, and that holds true with sciatica. Fortunately, with effective diagnosis and pain management, sciatica is very treatable.

What are the signs of sciatica?

Pain is the main sign of sciatica, and it can occur anywhere from your hips to your heel. Other common symptoms include:

  • Sharp sporadic pain that moves from your lower back down one leg (radiating pain)
  • Dull, consistent pain
  • Numbness in your leg or foot
  • Weakness in your leg or foot
  • Tingling in your leg or foot

Combination symptoms can occur, too. For example, you may have severe pain in your lower back and numbness in your lower leg at the same time. 

What causes sciatica?

Sciatic nerve inflammation can happen in many ways, including both traumatic and degenerative damage or compression. Common causes include:

  • Pelvic fracture
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Slipped lumbar disc
  • Bone spurs in the lumbar spine
  • Tumors in the lumbar spine
  • Direct sciatic nerve injury in an accident

Being overweight, pregnant, or sitting for long periods can all increase your risk of developing sciatica. 

How do you diagnose sciatica?

The team at Inland Neurosurgery Institute looks for the underlying problem to make a diagnosis. Your doctor asks questions to get the background on your symptoms and reviews your medical history. 

Your doctor then performs a physical exam, carefully observing your spine at rest and in motion. To fully understand the origin and extent of the nerve inflammation, your doctor may request imaging tests like an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. 

What are the treatment options for sciatica?

The team at Inland Neurosurgery Institute offers a variety of pain-management options for sciatica, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Heat and ice
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid and nerve block injections

If these treatments aren’t working, you might need to consider surgery. Options include:

Discectomy or microdiscectomy

Discectomy can ease spinal stenosis symptoms caused by disc herniation. Your surgeon at Inland Neurosurgery Institute removes all or part of the disc that’s pressing on your sciatic nerve.


Laminectomy is an effective solution for sciatica caused by spinal stenosis. Your surgeon removes small quantities of bone from your spine to increase the space and relieve nerve compression.

You might also require spinal fusion after these surgeries to strengthen your spine.

Book your appointment with the expert team at Inland Neurosurgery Institute by calling the office nearest you or request your visit using the online scheduling tool today.