The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It begins in the lower back and descends to the back of both legs. The nerve’s job is to control the muscles in the lower leg and the back of the knee. It also provides the feeling at the sole of your foot, part of your lower leg, and the back of your thigh.
Sciatica pain is common. When this happens, it’s a potential sign that there’s an issue associated with the sciatic nerve.
Symptoms Associated with Sciatica
Sciatica is a common pain typically described as shooting pain down the leg. But it has other symptoms.
Signs of sciatica:
- Rear pain that worsens when sitting
- Lower back pain
- Hip pain
- Shooting pain
- Burning or tingling down the leg
- Weakness or numbness in the leg or foot
- Constant pain on one side of the rear
Factors that put someone at a higher risk for sciatica:
- Lack of exercise
- High heel shoes
- Mattress that’s too hard or too soft
- Jobs involving heavy-lifting or long periods of driving
Often, sciatica affects one side of the body, not both. It’s not as common, but the pain may also appear in the foot or toes.
What Can Be Done for Sciatica?
The good news is that sometimes sciatica goes away on its own. Every case is different. A doctor may request an X-ray, electromyography (EMG), CT, or MRI of the spine to determine the cause.
One of the most common causes of sciatica is a herniated disc. The herniated lumbar disc puts pressure on the spinal nerve column. This causes pain. The neurosurgeon may recommend a microdiscectomy for the herniated disc. A microdiscectomy is minimally-invasive spinal surgery.
Other causes of sciatica are an injury, spinal stenosis, degenerative disk disease, spondylolisthesis, ruptured intervertebral disk, or a muscle spasm in the back or rear. Women may experience sciatica while pregnant. Sometimes a cause cannot be determined.
Doctors may recommend conservative spine therapy such as exercises, medicines, epidural injections, and cold or hot treatment.
Have a question? Please contact us or call 214-823-2052. We have two conveniently located offices in Addison and Dallas serving patients in Dallas, Addison, Plano, Frisco, Garland, and other cities in the DFW metroplex.