Sciatica Symptoms

Sciatica symptoms can have a broad-ranging impact on the ability to function normally and live without pain.

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Areas Affected by Sciatica

Since the sciatic nerve travels over a relatively long distance inside the body, the symptoms of sciatica can appear in a number of areas from your buttocks to your feet. The two areas most commonly involved extend from the thigh to the calf and from the lower back region to the buttocks.

In most instances, sciatica nerve pain appears in just one side of the back and one buttock, or in the back of just one leg, and include such things as stabbing pain, unusual tingling sensations and unusual burning sensations. Specific actions can significantly intensify these abnormal sensations, including moving from a sitting to a standing position, moving from a standing to a sitting position, laughing, exerting the muscles in your lower back, sneezing and coughing.

Severity of Symptoms

Some people have sciatica symptoms that only arise occasionally or only produce relatively minor pain or discomfort. However, others have problems that arise frequently or produce moderate, severe or even debilitating pain.

With the help of such as medication or physical therapy, most people gain substantial relief and manage to maintain or return to a fairly normal daily routine. Others recover from their symptoms without a need for any type of focused treatment. Still, some people continue to experience disruptive problems for extended periods of time, even when they receive treatments that prove effective for most individuals.

Lasting Effects of Sciatica

Sciatica has the potential to produce lasting damage in the sciatic nerve. Several symptoms can indicate the presence of this advanced form of damage, including foot or leg weakness that persists over time, an inability to control your bladder function, an inability to control your bowel function, unusual problems maintaining a standing position, unusual problems moving your body or walking around, loss of sensation in one or both buttocks and loss of sensation in the groin.

As a rule, anyone who experiences any of these symptoms must be treated as quickly as possible. Other indications of potential sciatica-related problems that require a rapid medical response include intense leg or lower back pain that appears suddenly and pain that appears in the aftermath of a serious accident.

How is Sciatica Treated?

Sciatica treatment depends on you – your specific physiology and how advanced your case is. The North American Spine medical team and your physician will thoroughly evaluate your situation and recommend a treatment plan to provide both maximum relief and minimum recovery time. Treatment plants are grouped into three categories:


Fusion or Stabilization