Oh, My Sciatica – Answers to Sciatica Questions
Friday, October 20, 2017
Have you ever heard someone say, “My sciatica is acting up again”? Perhaps you wondered if it was a legitimate pain or just someone playing the sympathy card. Or maybe you landed on this page because you typed in your own symptoms. Let’s take a look at sciatica – what it is, its symptoms, and more. When we’re done, you’ll have a better understanding of the issue.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica gets its name from the sciatic nerve, the largest single nerve in the body. It’s made up of individual nerve roots that start by branching out from the spine in the lower back and then combine to form the sciatic nerve. When the sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed at or near its point of origin, symptoms occur.
Sciatica tends to develop over time as opposed to an event or injury causing it and is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Some of the lower back problems that can cause sciatica symptoms include bone spurs on the spine, a lumbar herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis. In rare cases, the nerve can be compressed by a tumor or damaged by a disease such as diabetes.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Sciatica refers to the pain—and possibly tingling, numbness, or weakness—that starts in the lower back and travels through the hips and buttocks and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body.
These symptoms could mean you have sciatica:
· Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg
· Pain that is worse when sitting
· Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling, or searing
· Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg, foot, and/or toes
· A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or walk
· Pain that radiates down the leg and possibly into the foot and toes
Sciatic pain can run from infrequent and irritating to constant and incapacitating. The pain can range from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating pain. Sometimes it can feel like a jolt or electric shock. It can be worse when you cough or sneeze, and prolonged sitting can aggravate symptoms. Symptoms are usually based on the location of the pinched nerve. For example, a lumbar segment 5 (L5) nerve impingement can cause weakness in extension of the big toe and potentially in the ankle.
Some people also have numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot. You might have pain in one part of your leg and numbness in another part.
We've covered a lot of information, but you may still have questions. Please contact us and we will be happy to address exactly what is ailing you.
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