Sciatica/Sciatic Nerve Pain –

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Discover common causes for your lower back and leg pain, and how to best treat them.

Overview

 

Sciatica, or Sciatic Nerve Pain, refers to the jolting pain, or burning sensation, that radiates down your lower back, hips, buttocks, and down your legs. Usually it affects only one side of the body.

The lower back and leg pain brought on by sciatica most commonly occurs when a nerve becomes compressed. Usually due to things like a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine, or narrowing of the spine. In turn, this causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg.

Even though the pain associated with sciatica can be severe, many cases resolve with non-operative treatments.

Symptoms

 

If you are feeling a pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg, this is a sign of sciatica. Discomfort is common along any part of the nerve pathway, but is mostly felt down the lower back to your buttock and back of your thighs.

The pain assosicated with sciatica can vary widely, from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating pain. Sometimes it can even feel like a jolt or electric shock. Symptoms can be aggravated from actions such as sitting for long periods of time, coughing, or sneezing. 

Numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot may also be experienced. It is not uncommon to have pain in one part of your leg and numbness in another.

Causes

 

Sciatica occurs in patients when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched or compressed. Usually by a herniated disk in your spine or by an overgrowth of bone (bone spur) on your vertebrae.

Some factors which may rasie your risk of sciatica are:

  • Age – Changes in the spine from age, such as herniated disks and bone spurs, are the most common causes of sciatica.
  • Obesity – The increased weight on the spine by excess body weight can trigger nerve pain in patients
  • Occupation –  A job that requires you to twist your back, carry heavy loads or be seted for prolonged periods might play a role in sciatica
  • Diabetes –  May increase your risk of nerve damage, and result in sciatica like symptoms.

Treatment

 

The first line of defence against sciatica is self-care measures. Keeping yourself active, stretching, and being aware of your movements. 

If the pain doesn’t improve doctor may prescribe medications to reduce swelling an the tension around the compressed nerve.

Looking to avoid costly medicaitons or medical procedure, many patients are finding the relief for their sciatica through natural means.

Acupuncture is shown to help reduce shoulder inflammation, directly reducing the symptoms caused by sciatica. Patients can start seeing results from their first session.

At Panda Clinic we offer many options for you to keep your leg and lower back pain at bay. If you are new to acupuncture, are uncertain if it’s the right treatment, or have a fear of needles, we offer our Advanced Acupressure Massage.

This combination service includes acupuncture, acupressure, and cupping therapy over a 60 minute session to give you an introduction to acupuncture.

Read more about our Advanced Acupressure Massage here.