Could You Have Sciatica?

When your lower back pain radiates down a hip and leg, that pain could be what is called “sciatica”. Sciatica pain and numbness comes from the large nerve in the lower back, the sciatic nerve, being pinched or compressed, causing a variety of symptoms. It typically will only affect one side of the body but may affect both on rare occasions.

The Signs of Sciatica

The effects of sciatica can affect the lower back, the leg and thigh, as well as the foot and toes. It depends on where the sciatic nerve is affected as to where the signs will be seen. Typical signs include:

  • Rear pain or leg pain that is worse when you are sitting down
  • Leg burning or leg tingling sensations
  • Difficulty in moving the leg or foot
  • Numbness or weakness in the leg or foot
  • Shooting pains that make standing up difficult
  • Consistent pain in the one side of the rear

Why You May Have Sciatica Symptoms

There are some things that can cause sciatica. Some are medical conditions and some are lifestyle conditions.

Medical conditions that can cause the tingling and numbness of sciatica:

  • Pregnancy
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease

Lifestyle conditions that can cause the symptoms of sciatica:

  • Obesity
  • Not having enough exercise
  • Sleeping with a too-soft mattress
  • Wearing high heels

Treatment Options

If you are diagnosed with sciatica, there are a few options that can be tried before surgery becomes an option. These treatments include medications such as anti-seizure drugs, narcotics for the pain, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and tricyclic antidepressants. You are often asked to go into physical therapy to try and help prevent recurrences of the symptoms. There could be corticosteroid medications injected into the nerve root. This can be a temporary fix for the condition, lasting a few months.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/guide/sciatica-symptoms

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sciatica/DS00516

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