Understanding Sciatica: Symptoms That Indicate a Medical Emergency


Often, we think of sciatica as a numbness feeling that can be treated at some future point by a physician. While this is generally the case, there are some instances where the symptoms that present require immediate medical attention.

In some extreme cases, sciatica symptoms may develop into paralysis or severe numbness in the area of your buttocks. This is not to be taken lightly.

The name of this condition is referred to as saddle anesthesia. The name refers to the area of the body that would come into contact with a saddle when sitting on a horse. The region includes the inner thighs, buttocks, groin, and genitals. If this is combined by a recent onset of bowel or bladder dysfunction (poor urinary stream, urinary retention, differing urinary sensation, straining in order to urinate, and/or loss of rectal control), then it may indicate symptoms of a condition called cauda equina syndrome. Cauda equina syndrome is very serious and considered a medical emergency.

How do you know if you have sciatica?
Only a consultation with a qualified physician. As always, it's important to note that this is not a substitute for medical advice. If you would like information on this condition or if you want to schedule an appointment to be seen by one of our nationally renowned doctors, please fill out the form on this page.

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