Signs You Have Sciatica

Signs You Have Sciatica

From muscle strains to herniated discs, there are many reasons why your back might hurt, and identifying the underlying cause is the first step in finding relief. Wondering if your pain is related to sciatica? Sciatica is a common cause of leg and back pain, and it affects 4 out of 10 people. In this blog, our team of providers highlights the four signs of sciatica. 

1. Back pain

When your sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated 一 whether from spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease 一 it causes pain. Pain is the leading sign of sciatica, and it can appear as burning, electric, sharp, shooting, or tingling pain in the leg. It can also range from mild nagging pain to debilitating. Intense pain can make it hard to stand up or walk, and certain movements can send jolts of pain down your leg.

2. Pain that radiates down one leg

One of the most prominent signs that your back pain is related to sciatica is that the pain radiates through your buttocks and down one leg. Sciatica pain typically affects one leg. If your leg pain is in both legs, you might be dealing with a herniated disc rather than sciatica. In either case, a thorough examination and diagnostic imaging can confirm the cause of your discomfort. 

3. Numbness

Sciatica is often a symptom of a more significant issue, such as lumbar radiculopathy, a pinched nerve in your back. This can lead to numbness in your leg. 

4. Weakness

When your sciatic nerve is compressed, you might also experience muscle weakness (in the muscles in which your sciatic nerve runs.) Weakness can also manifest as:

You might experience more than one of these symptoms simultaneously. For example, your back pain might worsen when you twist or bend and experience muscle weakness in your leg. 

Finding relief from sciatica

There are many at-home strategies you can implement to prevent sciatica flare-ups. This includes:

If sciatica pain does arise, pain medication, stretching, and cold compresses are the go-to solutions for pain relief at home. However, even if you adopt healthy lifting techniques and sleep on a good mattress, some risk factors (such as aging) for sciatica are unavoidable. Our team here at International Spine, Pain & Performance Center offers a variety of treatments and interventional therapies to help you find relief. Depending on the underlying cause of your sciatica, you might benefit from:

If you spot these sciatica signs, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Book an appointment at our Arlington, Virginia, or Washington D.C office and start exploring your sciatica treatment options today.

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