The term “sciatica” describes the symptoms of leg pain, and sometimes tingling, numbness or weakness originating in the lower back that spreads to the back of the leg. The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body and is composed of individual nerve roots that start by branching out from the spine in the lower back and combine to form the “sciatic nerve.”
Sciatica is often characterized by one or more of the following symptoms:
Sciatic pain varies from infrequent and irritating to constant and incapacitating. Specific symptoms also vary widely in type, location and severity, depending upon the condition causing the sciatica (such as a lumbar herniated disc). While symptoms can be very painful, it is rare that permanent sciatic nerve damage (tissue damage) will result.
Generally, sciatica occurs later in life, peaking in your 50s and then declining with age.
There are 6 lower back problems that are the most common causes of sciatica:
Other causes of sciatica include pregnancy, scar tissue, muscle strain, spinal tumor and infection.
Once again, it’s important to recognize the medical condition in order to determine treatment.
Rarely, sciatica symptoms that worsen quickly may require immediate surgery. The following symptoms indicate a need for immediate medical care:
Patients should seek immediate medical attention if they experience any of the above symptoms.
It is always advisable to have a qualified medical professional oversee any type of sciatica treatment.