Sciatica

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a general definition of back pain that involves the lower extremities.

 

What Does Sciatica Feel Like?

 

The symptoms of sciatica are any back pain that also includes hip, butt, leg, foot/ankle pain. Sciatica is often characterized by one or more of the following features:

  • Pain - Sciatica pain is typically felt like a constant burning sensation or a shooting pain starting in the lower back or buttock and radiating down the front or back of the thigh and leg and/or feet.

  • Numbness - Sciatica pain may be accompanied by numbness in the back of the leg. Sometimes, tingling and/or weakness may also be present.

  • One-sided symptoms - Sciatica typically affects one leg. The condition often results in a feeling of heaviness in the affected leg. Rarely, both legs may be affected together.

  • Posture induced symptoms -  Sciatica symptoms may feel worse while sitting, trying to stand up, bending the spine forward, twisting the spine, lying down, and/or while coughing. The symptoms may be relieved by walking or applying a heat pack over the rear pelvic region.

 

It is important to note that any type of lower back pain or radiating leg pain is not sciatic nerve pain. Sciatica is general pain in multiple parts of the lower back and legs.

 

Sciatica is a term used to describe a set of symptoms caused by an underlying medical condition; it is not a medical diagnosis.

 

Common medical conditions that may cause sciatica include

  • Damage to the joints of the spine.

  • A herniated lumbar disc

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis

  • Lumbar degenerative disc disease, general degenerative changes in vertebrae or discs

  • Spondylolisthesis

  • Muscle spasm and/or inflammation of the lumbar and/or pelvic muscles

  • Trigger points in muscles

  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

  • Neuropathy

 

Rarely, tumors, blood clots, or other conditions in the lower spine may cause sciatica.

Read more about Spinal Tumors.

Chiropractic is the #1 treatment for most causes of sciatica!!

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