Almost half of us (40%) will experience sciatica pain over the course of our lifetime. Despite being so common, we still don’t know much about the sciatica nerve and how it works. What we do know, though, is that sciatica pain can range from mild to debilitating.
Are you wondering if you’re experiencing the symptoms of sciatica? Are you interested in learning more about why your symptoms are appearing and what you can do about it? If so, then we’re prepared to empower you with valuable information.
Read on for your in-depth guide to the symptoms of sciatica.
1. Radiating Nerve Pain
The number one symptom of sciatica is radiating nerve pain. Sciatica describes this radiating pain that stems from the sciatic nerve. Your sciatic nerve is the thickest and longest nerve, and it has five different roots.
An injury or compression of any of these five roots results in sciatica pain.
So, what does this ‘nerve’ pain feel like? Because the nerve is so long, you’ll likely feel a tingling pain from your lower back, hips, buttocks, and legs.
While some describe the pain as tingling, it could also feel like sharp jolts. Others describe nerve pain as a stabbing or burning sensation.
2. Numbness or Weakness
The second most common symptom is numbness or muscle weakness. These symptoms are most common in the leg, foot, buttocks, and groin areas.
These symptoms are usually reversible, though. Sciatica treatment seeks to restore your muscle strength.
3. Temporary Pain Relief or Spikes When Shifting Positions
Typical injury pain doesn’t fade or spike when you change your posture. Sciatica pain does, though. You might notice a change in your perception of pain when you:
- Attempt to stand
- Stand for a long time
- Lie on your back
- Lie on your back with your knees elevated
- Walk for a period of time
- Do pelvic exercises
Do you notice a change in your pain levels when you perform the above activities? If so, then you’re experiencing a symptom of sciatica pain.
4. Urinary Incontinence
Remember how we said that muscle weakness is a symptom of sciatica? Often, those muscles surround your hips and buttocks. Weakness in these areas can result in urinary incontinence.
You may lose control over your bladder or bowels, which means unexpected accidents. Muscle weakness could also mean that you struggle to relieve yourself, too. If you’re struggling with this symptom, it’s important to reach out to a doctor.
Are You Struggling With Symptoms of Sciatica?
When you experience the symptoms of sciatica, it’s natural to feel uneasy. It’s unnerving to feel numbness or weakness that doesn’t have a clear cause. Don’t panic, though. Recent studies show that 70% of patients recover within a year.
To ensure your recovery success, reach out to your doctor. Discuss your treatment options, and be sure to rest up as well.
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