Sciatica Leg Pain - Causes and Symptoms

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Sciatica Leg Pain - Causes and Symptoms

Sciatica leg pain is a condition caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. There are several causes of sciatica leg pain, including the spine, joint injuries, and osteoarthritis. This degenerative joint disease affects the cartilage and tissues surrounding joints, irritating the sciatic nerve.

Symptoms

If you're experiencing leg pain and numbness, you may be suffering from sciatica. This condition is characterized by pain in the lumbar region and often radiates into the leg and buttock. It can result in severe leg weakness and mobility problems. While most cases of sciatica are mild and will go away over time, a doctor should see severe cases. You should also seek medical advice if your symptoms worsen or are accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, weight loss, or difficulty controlling bowel movements.

Sciatica can also lead to numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness in different leg parts. The pain and numbness are caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, a nerve root that runs along the back of the leg. In some cases, the nerve is damaged by a herniated disk in the spine or by an overgrowth of bone in the vertebral column. Other times, the sciatic nerve may be weakened by age or disease.

Causes

Sciatica is a condition where the nerves in your lower back entrap and press on the sciatic nerve, causing a sharp, burning or tingling pain in the leg. The pain can be very debilitating, especially if it gets worse with sitting. Severe cases may require surgery to relieve the pressure on the nerve.

Over-the-counter pain medications can help relieve the symptoms of sciatica. In some cases, a prescription painkiller may be prescribed. If these medications are not effective, your doctor may recommend other treatments. For example, back exercises can strengthen the leg muscles and reduce pain. Additionally, the pain may be relieved through massage therapy and acupuncture. Some people may also benefit from corticosteroid medication, commonly known as steroid injections.

Treatments

Some self-care measures can help reduce sciatica leg pain and improve mobility. For example, applying an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel will reduce pain and swelling. Hot packs can also help reduce pain and stiffness. Both can be applied to the affected area several times a day.

However, nonsurgical sciatica treatments do not always work. Some patients require more aggressive treatment. Some will need spinal decompression surgery. Nonsurgical methods include applying heat or cold packs, NSAIDs or acetaminophen. These treatments should be tried first for acute symptoms.

Prevention

Sciatica symptoms include leg pain and numbness, muscle weakness, and leg tingling. They can occur in various parts of the leg and may be caused by a herniated disc in the spine, bone growth on vertebrae, or a tumor. However, most cases of sciatica are caused by age-related changes in the spine.

Sciatica pain can range from a slight ache to an intense throbbing or burning sensation. Sometimes, the pain can be so severe that it prevents a person from walking or standing. It most often occurs on one side of the body and is worsened by coughing, sneezing, or sitting for extended periods. In rare cases, people may also experience numbness in the legs or feet. Regardless of the cause