Sciatica is the name given to nerve pain that arises from an injury of or irritation to the sciatic nerve. When it’s inflamed or injured, you’re likely to experience mild to severe pain in the region through which the sciatic nerve passes through.
This includes your lower back, hip, buttock, and leg and foot. The irritation or injury can cause nerve damage and muscle weakness, resulting in a tingling sensation or numbness in the affected area.
Sciatica manifests in different forms among those affected. For instance, some individuals experience an unpleasant prickling sensation in their legs or feet. Others may experience shooting pain or a burning sensation in the affected area. Some people might experience the pain mainly in one of the above areas, some others will have discomfort in all the limb.
The sure thing is that it can be very invalidating and the daily activities can become very difficult to carry out.
Treating sciatica involves a bunch of self-care practices such as, performing gentle stretches, or exercises and taking over-the-counter medication to reduce inflammation and lower pain. Unfortunately, these practises alone aren’t always effective, especially in more severe cases. This is when you need professional medical aid for treating sciatica.
Be aware that sciatica can be caused from more important medical condition so it’s important to look out for the so-called Red Flags for what you should seek medical attention asap, some examples are:
- sciatica on both sides
- weakness or numbness in both legs that’s severe or getting worse
- numbness or tingling around your genitals or buttocks
- loss of bladder or bowel control
- associated high temperature
- unintentional weight loss
- unbearable pain that does not improve