Sciatica (sigh-at-eh-kah) is a term used to describe the symptoms of pain such as tingling, numbness, or weakness in the leg. The pain typically begins in the lower back and travels down the buttock and then down the large sciatic nerve in the back of each leg. Although sciatica is not a medical diagnosis, it is a symptom of an underlying medical condition.
Common lower back problems such as a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, or spinal stenosis often cause sciatica symptoms. Physicians may diagnose a patient with sciatica if they have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling, or numb
- Difficulty moving the leg, foot, and/or toes
- Sharp pain which makes it difficult to stand or walk
- Constant pain on one side of the buttock or leg
- Radiating pain down the leg and possibly into the foot
- Lower back pain
Sciatic pain can vary from infrequent and annoying to constant and debilitating. The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the body and is made up of individual nerve roots which start in the lower back. Symptoms occur when the large nerve is compressed or irritated at or near its point of origin.
The condition will need to be treated if it is severe with ongoing flare-ups of sciatic nerve pain, so it does not worsen over time. It’s best to share all your symptoms with your physician so the best approach can be made to design a treatment program.
Valley Pain Consultant physicians have received extensive training in Pain Management, and stay current with new and up to date procedures throughout the year. To schedule an appointment, please call (480) 467-2273 or complete the contact form.