If you suspect you may be experiencing sciatica symptoms, you’re probably not wrong. That’s because the sensations and pain – ranging from mild to severe, sporadic or constant, acute or dull – are highly unique. In this analysis, we’re going to take a closer look at the most striking sciatica pain symptoms to watch out for – and what you can do next to get back to the life you love!
What does sciatica feel like?
- Shooting, searing or dull pain deep in the buttock?
- Similar pain radiating down the back of your leg?
- Numbness, tingling, burning, electric-like sensation along the sciatic nerve?
Many people refer to the feeling as electricity-like, which is no surprise given that it’s got everything to do with the sciatic nerve. The trouble usually starts in the lower back due to the pinching, touching or irritation of any of a series of nerve roots that can radiate their messages down the sciatic nerve, through your buttocks, your legs and even all the way to your toes. And if you’re feeling it predominantly on just one side of your body, such as pain shooting down a leg, it’s almost certain sciatica pain.
What causes sciatica symptoms?
As mentioned above, sciatica pain originates in the series of nerves in the lower back – most commonly with a lower back injury such as a herniated or bulging spinal disc. These rubbery discs are filled with gel-like fluid that makes our spine so effortlessly flexible, but other potential causes are spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine), bone spurs, and other conditions such as facet joint osteoarthritis, lumbar degenerative disc disease and spondylolisthesis.
What are the other sciatica symptoms?
In addition to our description of the sciatica pain symptoms outlined above, we believe just about all cases of those suffering from this problem can be covered by the following 8 basic categories of symptoms:
1. Lower back pain
Those experiencing sciatica usually report that the trouble began with lower back pain, which is no surprise given that 9 in 10 cases are caused by a herniated spinal disc. The good news is that many such disc problems resolve.
2. Shooting pain
People often describe sciatica pain as ‘shooting’ and triggered by moving, lifting, standing, sitting or twisting in certain ways. It’s referred to as ‘shooting’ because it can ‘shoot’ from the lower back all the way to the toes.
3. Rear leg pain
Another widely reported symptom is pain in the back of the thigh, which again is caused by affected lumbar nerves. The sensation is often sharp and worse when you move, but it can also be duller and more sporadic.
4. Hip pain
Sciatic nerve problems can sometimes cause inflammation around the affected area, resulting in discomfort or pain in the hip. In many cases, gentle exercises can greatly help relieve the symptoms over time.
5. Pins & needles
This symptom can resemble the feeling of a ‘dead leg’ and resulting pins & needles, and it will usually recede with a period of rest.
6. Leg weakness
Sometimes, the symptoms can progress to the point at which leg weakness makes even walking difficult. However, continuing to move during these flare-ups can help, although surgery for nerve damage may be necessary. Often, your health specialist will help to diagnose sciatica and its causes by asking you to lay down and raise your straightened leg, and if this is particularly difficult or results in pain below the knees, that’s a red flag for sciatica and its causes.
7. Backside pain
Sciatica can be a real pain in the backside – literally! We’re talking about the gluteal muscles, which can also feel weak or numb depending on the extent of the affected nerve.
8. Urge to go to toilet
While most common only in more extreme cases, the frequent urge to either urinate or empty the bowels can be associated with sciatica – and can be extremely painful as well. In these cases, the pressure on the sciatic nerve is so great that permanent bladder and bowel damage can result, making urgent medical attention a must.
Your chiropractor can help with sciatica
Did you know your local North Shore chiropractor can help resolve your sciatica symptoms? They do this through a combination of:
- Spinal adjustment techniques like chiropractic instrument adjusting
- Hot & cold therapy
- Chiropractic exercises
- Initiating more healthy habits
Drop the LRCC team a message today!
At Longueville Road Chiropractic Centre, we understand how difficult sciatic pain can make your life. Our team can help with acute diagnosis and personalised Sydney chiropractic care so you can get back to doing all the things you love. If you’re ready to tackle your sciatica pain symptoms, get in touch with the team at LRCC today.