Sciatica is known to have symptoms such as leg pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness that travels down the lower back via the sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. Sciatica is a description of symptoms, not a diagnosis. A herniated disc, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and spondylolisthesis can all cause sciatica sending pain throughout the legs.
What are the common symptoms of Sciatica?
Common symptoms of sciatica includes:
- Lower back pain
- Pain in the rear or leg that is worse when sitting
- Hip pain
- Burning or tingling down the leg
- Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
- A constant pain on one side of the rear
- A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica is caused by irritation of the root(s) of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine.
Additional common causes of sciatica include:
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Muscle spasm in the back or buttocks
How can we reduce/ prevent sciatica?
Not all sources of sciatica are preventable, such as degenerative disc disease, back strain due to pregnancy, and accidental falls.
Despite not being able to prevent all cases of sciatica, you can take steps to protect your back and reduce your risk to decrease chances of sciatica which includes:
- Practicing proper lifting techniques. Lift with your back straight, bringing yourself up with your hips and legs, and holding the object close to your chest. Use this technique for lifting everything, no matter how light.
- Avoid/ stop cigarette smoking, which promotes disc degeneration.
- Exercise regularly to strengthen the muscles of your back and abdomen, which work to support your spine.
- Use good posture when sitting, standing, and sleeping. Good posture helps to relieve the pressure on your lower back.
- Avoid sitting for long periods.