Sciatica Specialist

Jonathan Gentile, MD -  - Pain Management Physician

Indiana Spine Group

Jonathan Gentile, MD

Pain Management Physician & Anesthesiologist located in Carmel, Indianapolis, & Kokomo, IN

Are you experiencing electric shock-like sensations that travel down the lower half of your body any time you shift position? Do these sensations only affect one side of your body? You may have sciatica. Jonathan Gentile, MD, and the team at Indiana Spine Group in Carmel, Kokomo, and Indianapolis, Indiana, specialize in diagnosing and treating sciatica. To schedule a consultation, call the office or book online today.

Sciatica Q&A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a general term referring to pain that’s “radicular” in nature. The radicular pain you feel with sciatica is pain that radiates from the lower back and down the legs. 

The pain occurs from compression or irritation of your sciatic nerve, which is the thickest and longest nerve in your body. Your sciatic nerve exits from various points in your lumbar and sacral spine and joins together in your buttocks, and travels down your legs on both sides of your body.

The sciatic nerve is a motor and sensory nerve. The tell-tale symptom of sciatica is an electric shock-like sensation that travels along the nerve pathway on one side of your body. 

Radicular pain also affects the cervical spine. Though the radiating pain may affect the arms instead of the legs. 

What causes sciatica?

Compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve causes sciatica. You may develop sciatica from a herniated disc or disc degeneration. 

Though sciatica is common, you may be at a greater risk of developing the pain condition if you have a physically demanding job, you’re overweight, or you have a history of diabetes.  

How is sciatica diagnosed?

When you visit Indiana Spine Group with symptoms that suggest sciatica, Dr. Gentile conducts a thorough examination, so you get an accurate diagnosis.

During your exam, he asks detailed questions about your symptoms, including activities that worsen and lessen your pain. He also reviews your medical history and conducts a physical.

To confirm or rule out the root cause of sciatica, Dr. Gentile performs diagnostic testing such as blood work, nerve conduction studies, X-rays, or MRIs. 

How is sciatica treated?

When it comes to treating sciatica, Indiana Spine Group focuses on providing pain relief and rehabilitation so you can achieve optimal outcomes. Your sciatica treatment plan may include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Activity modification
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Steroid injections
  • Intracept® Procedure
  • Spinal cord stimulation

If surgery is required, Dr. Gentile works closely with the other surgeons at Indiana Spine Group to identify the source of your pain to maximize the effectiveness of surgery. 

Indiana Spine Group regularly takes part in investigational studies. Currently, the practice is participating in a study that involves injecting an enzymatic substance into a herniated disc. The special substance “dissolves” the herniation and alleviates pain.  

For a comprehensive approach to treating sciatica from an experienced pain management physician, call Indiana Spine Group, or request an appointment using the online booking tool.