One of the most widespread myths regarding sciatica is that it is a medical illness in and of itself. However, sciatica is a group of symptoms that point to an underlying medical issue resulting in damage to your sciatic nerve.
Read on to learn more about the nine most prevalent symptoms of sciatica.
1. Pain radiating down your leg
Pain that radiates from one area of your body to another is a major sign of sciatica. That type of pain is typically sharp and travels out of your lower spine and down one of the legs and feet. It typically gets worse as it travels down the leg. If your leg pain is predominantly felt down one leg but is also felt throughout the lower back, a doctor will frequently suspect sciatica.
This symptom is transmitted through your sciatic nerve which resides deep within both buttocks. A persistent pain, whether dull and achy or acute and stabbing, is unmistakably indicative of sciatic nerve involvement.
2. Pain in a particular side of the body
The fact that sciatica often only affects one side of the body is another clear indication of the condition. As long as the inflammation or injury is limited to one of the nerve roots, you’ll mostly feel discomfort in one of your legs, hips, knees, or buttocks.
3. Sharp sensations, burning and tingling
A low-grade burning sensation in the back, hip, or anywhere along the back of the leg is one of the early indicators of sciatic nerve pain. It might only be a slight irritation, and it might go away and then come back. If symptoms are left untreated, they could expand to other parts of your leg, get worse, and cause other problems.
Sciatica can also be identified by stabbing or sharp pain in the low back, hip, or radiating down the leg. Additionally, you can feel like you have tingling sensations. These pins and needles are comparable to those occurring in your limb just before it starts to “wake up.” The compressed or otherwise compromised sciatic nerve can cause this symptom anywhere along its pathway.
4. Loss of sensation
As your sciatic nerve endures more damage, you may experience loss of sensation in any part of your spine, down the back of your leg, and along the side of your hip. Extreme numbness may make it more difficult to move the limb freely.
5. Bowel and bladder dysfunction
Doctors consider bowel or bladder inconsistency in those with sciatica to be a surgical emergency that needs to be treated right away. The combination of sciatic pain and loss of bladder or bowel control may signal irreversible sciatic nerve damage.
6. Hip pain
Both the side of the body with sciatica and the opposite side of the body frequently experience hip pain. It is normal to try shifting your weight to the other side of the body when one side is hurting. Hip pain on both sides may originate from this, one from sciatica and the other from overcompensating for that discomfort.
7. Symptoms aggravating when you stand, sit, or sneeze
Pain may naturally develop due to you sitting awkwardly or spending lots of time in a standing position. This is a minor discomfort or creakiness that subsides with physical activity. Contrarily, the pain from sciatica typically exacerbates the longer you are standing or sitting. A change in position may provide some alleviation, although it is typically temporary. In addition, many of those with sciatica experience an increase in their discomfort when coughing and sneezing.
Do you have weak knees? It is a prevalent symptom, though weakness related to sciatica can occur anywhere throughout the leg. Although weakness is one of the typical sciatica symptoms, a persistent weakness that worsens over time and throughout therapy may be an indication of another potentially dangerous underlying illness. If the causes of sciatic nerve irritation and associated symptoms are not treated, weakness might worsen.
9. Tightness in the calf or back of the thigh
A psychological reaction to approaching pain or a physical reaction to sciatic nerve discomfort may be the cause of the tightness in the calf or back of the thigh. Misuse may also contribute to it, particularly if sciatica makes it hard to stretch or carry out daily tasks.