If you have been experiencing pain that begins in the spine and radiates down the back of the leg, sciatica may be to blame. While sciatica symptoms may vary patient to patient, the radiating pain down the leg on one side of the body is usually a telltale symptom. Whether your sciatic nerve pain is pregnancy related or due to an injury, it is important to diagnose your pain in order to begin the process of living a pain free life.
Sciatica is a result of pressure on the sciatic nerve. For most patients, sciatica is caused when a herniated disk or bone spur in the spine presses on the nerve. In order to eliminate pain, your doctor may recommend medication such as anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, and physical therapy. In severe cases, surgery may be required to relieve the pressure.
The first step in diagnosing sciatica pain begins with understanding your symptoms. Individuals with sciatica may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain in the back, hips, lower extremities, or buttocks
- Pain while sitting
- Difficulty walking
- Muscle weakness
- Leg numbness or the sensation of pins and needles
- Foot numbness or weakness
- Burning sensation in the foot
Pain levels may vary from mild to sharp and severe. Therefore, even if your pain is bearable, it does not mean that the sciatic nerve is not the cause of your pain.
When Sciatica Symptoms Require Immediate Attention
In rare cases, sciatica symptoms may indicate the need for immediate surgical attention. Therefore, if you experience any of the symptoms below, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
- If your symptoms continue to worsen even with treatment, it could be an indication of nerve damage
- If symptoms begin to occur in both legs
- If bladder or bowel incontinence or dysfunction occur
- If the sciatic pain is a result of an accident or trauma
- If sciatic pain occurs in conjunction with fever or loss of appetite
Keep in mind that you know your body best. Therefore, if you are experiencing sciatica symptoms that concern you, do not hesitate to contact a medical professional for evaluation.
Seek Relief with EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region
If you believe you are suffering from sciatica, schedule an appointment with EmergeOrtho: Foothills Region’s Spine and Pain Clinic. Our providers are dedicated to helping our patients find relief from sciatic pain once and for all. We look forward to your visit.