Understanding Sciatica - Part 1

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If you are or have ever experienced tingling, numbness, or weakness in your legs or toes, then you may be experiencing symptoms of sciatica. Some people describe the symptoms as a searing or burning pain. Others describe the symptoms as feeling like shocks running down the leg. It’s important to note that sometimes lower back pain may be present with it, but usually the leg pain is more intense than the lower back pain. This is because sciatica originates in the lower back, then travels through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve that you have in the back of each leg. Depending upon your pain, it may be present in just one leg or both.

When does it seem to affect people the most?
Our experience has shown that patients feel the pain most when they:

  • Transition from lying down to standing

  • Sit for too long

  • Make sudden movements (such as coughing or sneezing)

What exactly is it?
It’s usually a result of lower back problems that cause the sciatica symptoms. This could include degenerative disc disease, a lumbar herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis. To help give you a visual idea of sciatica, we have a video from Spine-Health that shows an animated explanation of some of the pain symptoms you may be experiencing. Click here to watch video.

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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