Sciatica – Symptoms and causes

Sciatica - Symptoms and causes

Sciatica is pain that radiates down your leg in the direction of the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back to your hips and buttocks. Sciatica typically impacts just one side of the body.

A herniated disc, a bone spur on the spine, or a weakening of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve, causing sciatica. Inflammation, discomfort, and numbness are common symptoms in the affected leg.

While the pain associated with sciatica can be intense, the majority of patients heal within a few weeks with non-operative procedures. People with chronic sciatica who still have major leg disability or bowel or bladder modifications may be surgical candidates.


Sciatica is characterized by pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your body. The pain can occur anywhere in the nerve pathway, but it's most likely to occur along a line that runs from your low back to your buttocks, as well as the back of your thigh and calf.

Pain can range from a dull ache to a painful, burning feeling or unbearable agony. It can feel like a jolt or an electric shock at times. Coughing or sneezing can make things worse, and sitting for extended periods of time can exacerbate symptoms. Just one side of the body is usually affected.

Numbness, tingling, or muscle stiffness in the affected leg or foot are also common. You can experience pain in one part of your leg while experiencing numbness in another.

When to see a doctor

Mild sciatica normally disappears over time. If self-care interventions fail to relieve your symptoms, or if your pain lasts more than a week, is serious, or worsens over time, see your doctor. If you're experiencing any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention right away:

  • You have numbness or muscle stiffness in your leg, as well as acute, intense pain in your low back or leg.
  • The suffering occurs after a traumatic injury, such as a car crash.
  • You can't seem to get the bowels or bladder under control.


Sciatica is caused by a pinched sciatic nerve, which is normally caused by a herniated disc on your back or a bone spur on one of your vertebrae. A tumor can compress the nerve, or it can be affected by a condition like diabetes.

Risk factors

Sciatica can be caused by a number of causes, including:

  • Age is a factor. Sciatica is most often caused by age-related alterations in the spine, such as herniated disks and bone spurs.
  • Obesity is an issue. Excess body weight will lead to the spinal changes that cause sciatica by increasing the tension on your spine.
  • Occupation.  Sciatica may be caused by jobs that force you to twist your spine, lift large weights, or drive a vehicle for long stretches of time, although there is no definitive proof of this connection.
  • Long periods of sitting.  Sciatica is more likely to occur in people who stay for extended periods of time or lead a sedentary lifestyle than in healthy people.
  • Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of people.  The way the body uses blood sugar is affected by this disease, which raises the risk of nerve damage.


And the fact that most people heal completely from sciatica without surgery, sciatica can cause permanent nerve damage. If you have any of the above symptoms, seek medical help right away.

  • In the affected limb, there is a loss of sensation.
  • Insufficiency of the infected leg
  • Deficiency in bowel or bladder control


Sciatica is not necessarily preventable, and the disorder can recur. The following items will help to secure your back:

  • Exercise on a daily basis.  Pay careful attention to your core muscles, which are the muscles in your abdominal and lower back that are responsible for proper balance and coordination, to keep your back solid. Inquire with the doctor for particular events.
  • When you're sitting, make sure your stance is right.  Choose a seat with a swivel foundation, armrests, and strong lower back support. To keep your back in its natural curve, place a pillow or folded towel in the small of your back. Maintain a level posture with the knees and hips.
  • Make full use of the body mechanics.  If you have to stay for long stretches of time, take a break and rest one foot on a stool or a little box. Allow your lower extremities to do the job while lifting something heavy. Move up and down in a straight line. Maintain a straight back and just bent at the elbows. Keep the load as close to the body as possible. Lifting and spinning at the same time is not a good idea. If the object is bulky or difficult, find a lifting buddy.

Here are the 9 best exercises for sciatica pain relief