Sciatica Symptoms and Causes

Patients suffering from sciatica often feel lower back pain that extend to the buttocks, hamstring, calf, and foot. In addition to pain, signs of sciatica may also include tingling and numbness. And it is not uncommon for these symptoms to be felt on just one side of the body.

The severity of sciatica symptoms vary from person to person and worsen with time. Some people can become physically disabled by sciatica symptoms, while others may only be intermittently bothered and find that the beginning signs of sciatica are only minor and more of a nuisance than anything. Less severe sciatica symptoms, however, can get worse and sciatica treatment should be sought with the onset of sciatic nerve pain.

The symptoms of sciatica can be felt in different ways depending on the level of the spine at which the sciatic nerve is affected. Damage at different levels produces different types of pain in varying parts of the body.

Seek immediate medical care if you experience sudden, severe pain that follows an injury or traumatic event, or if you have trouble controlling your bowels or bladder.

What Causes Sciatica?

Causes of sciatica range from a herniated disc to a spinal cysts or tumor. Basically, any condition that develops in the lower back close enough to the sciatic nerve that can come in contact with it can cause sciatic nerve pain. A herniated disc in the lumbar back will usually cause sciatic nerve pain. In some cases, your doctor may not be able to find the specific sciatica cause of your sciatica without further investigation through medical images such as a CT scan or MRI.

Sciatica Symptoms

  • Radiating pain worsened by sitting
  • Sharp constant pain on one side of the rear leg that can affect standing or walking
  • Weakness or loss of motor function in the leg or foot
  • Numbness or tingling down one leg