Am I having sciatic nerve pain?

Back Pain Sciatica

It is important to accurately diagnose your back pain in order to get effective treatment. Sciatic nerve pain is a common cause of lower back pain that can make simple tasks like walking or sitting very uncomfortable. Understanding the causes and symptoms of sciatica is imperative to answering the question, “Am I having sciatic nerve pain?”

Causes of sciatica

The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back down the buttocks, thighs and legs. Lower back pain can occur when pressure is placed on the nerve. Common conditions that can cause sciatica include:

  • A herniated disc in the lumbar spine
  • Osteoarthritis, which can cause bone to grow into the sciatic nerve
  • Degenerative disc disease that breaks down the protective discs between vertebrae
  • Spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of spaces in the spine
  • Muscle strain or pull that can cause inflammation and swelling that affects the nerve

If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, you have a higher chance of being affected by sciatic nerve pain.

Symptoms of sciatic nerve pain

The lower back pain of sciatica has some unique symptoms that can help you identify it. The pain tends to originate in the lumbar spine and run down the leg. This can feel like a sharp or radiating pain through the buttocks and does not get better when seated.

Sciatica usually affects only one side of the body. You may also feel a burning, tingling or pins-and-needles sensation that can run down all the way to your foot. If you experience muscle weakness or numbness in the leg affected by sciatica, seek immediate medical treatment.

Treatments for sciatica

When treating lower back pain caused by sciatica, the primary goal is to relieve the pressure on the sciatic nerve. Ice packs can help relieve pain and inflammation. Low-impact exercise and stretching will help maintain your range of motion.

Physical therapy is another great option for sciatic nerve pain. A physical therapist can diagnose the root cause of your lower back pain and prescribe a treatment plan based on your needs. Contact us today to schedule your free 15-minute screening to determine if that lower back pain is being caused by sciatica.