Sciatica is a common condition that affects up to 3 million people in the United States each year. Sciatica refers to back pain caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts from your lower back and runs down the back of each leg. When injuries put pressure or irritate the sciatic nerve, it can create low back pain that can radiate to the hip, buttock, and leg.
Although sciatica can be very painful, it is very treatable by a medical professional. Simple strategies such as correcting posture, performing light stretches, or doing gentle strengthening exercises can help you heal quickly and return to the activities you love.
Symptoms of Sciatica
- Constant or intermittent pain that originates from the lower back/ posterior buttock and travels down the back of the thigh.
- Numbness, tingling, pins-needles sensation down the back of the buttock and thigh.
- Weakness in the leg or foot. People may experience a sensation of heaviness in the affected leg.
- Symptoms that improve with lying down or walking but worsen with sitting.
What Exactly is Sciatica?
Sciatica is described as pain radiating along the sciatic nerve which runs down both legs from the lower back. The sciatic nerve runs through or under the piriformis which is a muscle in the hip. When this muscle gets aggravated or compresses the sciatic nerve, it may cause the symptoms listed above. Symptoms typically occur on one side of the body.
3 Tips to Relieve Sciatica
- Stretch your low back, hips, and legs.
- Use a heat pack and electrical stimulation on your posterior buttock.
- Get properly diagnosed by a physical therapist. Many low back conditions can present like sciatica so it is important to determine the origin of the symptoms.