sciaticaSciatica is a condition in which pain is caused from damage done to the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can be a very debilitating condition for those who suffer from it. The pain can reduce your activities and deprive you of living a regular life.

What Is Sciatica?

The Sciatic Nerve is a large nerve that runs from the lower back and branches off at the sacral area to continue running down both sides of the buttocks and into both legs. Sciatica is caused when the root(s) of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine become irritated. The typical causes are: Spinal Trauma, Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Spondylolisthesis, and pregnancy.

Sciatic pain can extend from the lower back, into the buttocks or down into the back of the thigh. Depending upon how severe the damage, the pain may also lead as far down as the foot and toes. Thankfully, Sciatica typically only affects one side. It is uncommon but not unheard of to have pain on both sides.

What Are The Symptoms?

  • Pain in the buttocks or leg that gets worse when sitting:

The pain can sharpen or run lower down the leg the longer you are in a seated position.

  • Burning or tingling down the leg:

Along with the pain you can experience a burning sensation, tingling as if your leg is asleep, or both.

  • Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot:

Your leg can become weak or numb, making it difficult to bear weight or walk. At times it may even be difficult to simply move the leg. Some sciatica sufferers have even complained of a feeling of ‘paralysis’ when trying to move from a flat supine (on your back) position. Reporting the inability to set up, instead, they would need to roll to the side first.

  • A constant pain on one side of the buttocks:

A constant pain that can range from sharp to a dull ache that seems to be centered deep into the buttock cheek. This can be a steady pain or one that comes and goes. There is no certain movement or position that seems to cause it to start.

  • A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up:

You can experience a sharp shooting pain that feels as if it begins in the buttocks and runs down the back of the leg. During this pain, it can be extremely difficult to stand up if not entirely impossible.

Why the Inability to Move

Most people associate the inability to move during sciatica pain to the pain level itself, but in fact, the sciatic nerve is just that. It is a nerve that sends messages to your brain and while it is sending pain messages, it can at times ‘forget’ to send movement impulses. This leads to the feeling of paralysis that are reported by some sufferers.

One home remedy that can help ease the pain with sciatica is a heating pad, see our top 10 electric heating pad reviews here!

If your pain or other symptoms increase, see your medical professional as soon as possible to reduce your chances of any long term damage to the sciatic nerve.