The term “sciatica” is used to describe pain that is felt along the leg, making it feel like it is tingling, weak, or numb. Understanding sciatic nerve pain symptoms & treatment, however, will usually mean that you come to understand that it actually has little to do with the leg. Rather, it has to do with the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body that travels from the lower back down the buttocks, all the way down the back of the leg. Usually, sciatic nerve pain gets better with rest, although this can take several weeks or even months.

Understanding Sciatic Nerve Pain Symptoms & Treatment:

Most of the time, sciatica pain does not require any form of medical intervention, and certainly not surgery. Some topical treatment may be beneficial, however. Sciatica usually happens in people aged between 30 and 50, and it happens because of wear and tear, rather than as a result of some form of trauma. The pressure of the lower spinal column on the sciatic nerve is the main cause.

From a clinical perspective, understanding sciatic nerve pain symptoms & treatment is down to learning about radiculopathy. In this case, the spinal disc is protruding from the standard position of the spine’s vertebra. This results to pressure being placed on the radicular nerve, or on the root of the nerve, found within the lower back. This is where the sciatic nerve is also located. Sciatica itself is not actually a diagnosis of a condition in and of itself. Rather, it is a symptom. The problem lies in the functioning of the lower back. This is why treatment is twofold: firstly to resolve the cause of the problem in the lower back, and secondly to relieve the symptom, which is sciatica.

People experience sciatica pain in different ways, but all agree that it can be incredibly painful. That said, it is very rare for it to be a permanent form of tissue damage or nerve damage. Usually, the symptoms mean that there is an inflammation present, which generally takes between two weeks to a month to start to improve. The spinal column itself does not actually reach the lower spin. Hence, if a disc is herniated, it may be very painful, but it will never cause paralysis. That said, if someone were to experience either of the following two symptoms, they must immediately seek medical treatment as an emergency:

  1. Progressive weakness of either of the legs
  2. Incontinence or dysfunction of the bladder or bowel

If these symptoms are present, cauda equina syndrome may be present.

If someone has sciatic nerve pain, rest and topical treatments will be offered first. Back exercises and stretching are also highly beneficial. If the pain is sudden, then placing an ice pack on the lower back for around 20 minutes can also be beneficial. Some people find that taking over the counter painkillers, and particularly non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also beneficial. Massage, physical therapy, and other forms of physical manipulation may also help, but must be done by a registered professional.