Sciatica is one of the most common sources of pain, and many people are unsure or unaware of the symptoms and the underlying causes that triggers that lead to a sciatica flare-up. Fact is, it affects as many as 40% of American adults, and the chances of experiencing a sciatica flare-up increase as you get older.
At Republic Spine and Pain, our pain management doctors and specialists offer treatment and pain management plans at three convenient locations in Lakeway, Georgetown, and Austin, Texas.
Here’s what you need to know about sciatica and when to get help for your pain.
Signs and symptoms of sciatica
Sciatica pain ranges from mild to severe and radiates from the lower back through the buttocks and down the right or left leg (it’s rare to experience symptoms in both legs at the same time).
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and connects at the lower spine and sacrum. When the nerve becomes inflamed or damaged from compression, it can lead to pain, tingling, and numbness.
While the sciatic nerve begins in the lower back (lumbar spine), sciatica pain and symptoms can affect any portion of the nerve, from the lower back down to your feet.
Other common symptoms of sciatica include:
- Tingling or burning sensation along the nerve
- Numbness or muscle weakness
- Difficulty moving
It’s also possible to experience multiple symptoms along the affected leg. For example, you might have pain or a burning sensation down the back of your thigh and calf and tingling or numbness in your feet.
Mild to moderate cases of sciatica usually go away on their own. See our team if you experience severe pain that disrupts your quality of life and normal activities, if the pain persists for more than a week or two or gets worse over time, if you experience other symptoms like fever, or if you develop pain after trauma like a car accident or fall.
Are you at risk for sciatica?
Anyone can develop sciatica, but there are a few factors that can increase your risk. Since sciatica is caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve by bone spurs or herniated discs, the aging process increases the risk of sciatica due to common age related conditions like degenerative disc disease.
Obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and illnesses like diabetes that increase the risk of nerve damage can also increase the risk of sciatica. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise and practicing good posture, and keeping your blood sugar under control if you have diabetes can help lower your risk of developing sciatica and other health complications, especially as you get older.
At Republic Spine and Pain, our pain management specialists offer several therapies and pain management plans for sciatica and low back pain.
For more information about sciatica treatment and other pain management plans, contact Republic Spine & Pain today to schedule an appointment with a pain management specialist at one of our locations in Georgetown, Lakeway, or Austin, Texas.