Sciatica is a painful experience that causes a decrease in the quality of life for those impacted. Sciatica causes pain that travels from your buttocks down your leg. It causes numbness, weakness, and a tingling sensation. Sciatica could indicate an underlying condition that starts in your lower back. Here are some signs that you shouldn’t overlook if you think you have sciatica.
Where is the sciatic nerve?
Your sciatic nerve goes from your lower back through your hips and buttocks, going down each leg. The name sciatica describes inflammation of this nerve, causing pain that radiates down the nerve into your hips and buttocks. This condition usually only affects one side of your body.
5 Signs of Sciatica Never to Overlook
At first, you may not know that you’re dealing with sciatica pain. Over time, your symptoms may get worse. If you don’t try to treat it, it can get worse. Here are some signs of sciatica that you should look for.
1 – Lower Back Pain (one of the most commonly reported signs of sciatica)
Low back pain may be the first sign that you’re developing sciatica. The pain begins in your lower back and moves down your buttocks and leg. This pain is usually only on one side of your legs, but sometimes both sides hurt simultaneously. Bending, sitting, or standing makes it worse. The only relief is usually lying down, but for some individuals, even lying down hurts.
2 – Burning or Tingling Sensation
If you’re having strange burning or tingling sensations down one of your legs, this may be an early sign of sciatica. Many people describe this pain as a dull ache or sharp shooting pain. Either way, it’s challenging to maintain your everyday activities when dealing with it.
3 – Painful to Walk or Stand
It could be a sign of sciatica if you notice discomfort when you’re sitting or standing at work. Moving might relieve the pain, but it may not go away. Some people say that lying down is the only way they find relief from their pain, but this isn’t always the case.
4 – Weakness or Numbness of the Foot or Leg
Besides experiencing pain, other signs of sciatica are weakness or numbness in your leg or foot. You may notice your feet feeling numb or tingling. This could signify you have a pinched nerve, which could cause your sciatica. These are severe signs. Go see your chiropractor right away for diagnosis and treatment.
5 – Leg Gives Out
There may also be circumstances when your leg gives out while walking or standing up. This sign of sciatica makes you prone to injury, especially if you lose your balance. Don’t overlook these signs, but seek medical care right away. Your chiropractor can give you exercises to do to help your sciatic nerve be restored. Fortunately, in most cases, sciatica can be treated at home or with minimal intervention. But once in a while, surgery is required.
Warnings About Paying Attention to the Signs of Sciatica
If sciatica is left untreated, it can lead to long-term neurological conditions. Here are some complications that untreated sciatica causes.
- Incontinence: Untreated sciatica can lead to incontinence, or the inability to control your bladder or bowels. This is a severe medical condition called cauda equina syndrome.
- Weakness in both legs: Cauda equina syndrome can also cause sudden pain and weakness or numbness in both legs. If this happens, it usually requires immediate surgery. This condition causes difficulty walking if you don’t seek treatment.
- Sexual dysfunction: Some people have experienced numbness in their genitals.
- Drop foot: Sciatica can cause numbness in your foot. You may develop foot drop. This is where you can’t raise your foot correctly when you walk.
- You may walk differently: If you suffer from back pain like sciatica, you may compensate by favoring the painful leg. This changes your gait. You may limp or swing your leg wider than usual. You may not know that you’re doing this until someone mentions it. The awkward stride throws out your back, so it’s not in alignment. This causes even more neck pain and back pain.
- Surgery: Surgery can repair extreme neck and back pain from sciatica.
Know You Know the Signs of Sciatica, But How Can Your Lifestyle Increase Your Risk of This Back Pain?
What makes you more susceptible to getting sciatica?