Sciatic Discomfort

Sciatica typically presents as pain that radiates from the lower part of the spine, known as the lumbar, to the buttocks and down the back of the leg. Individuals report that the pain varies and can be anything from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating pain. Some people say that it feels like an electric shock or a jolt. The pain may increase with a cough or a sneeze. Sitting for an extended period of time can make symptoms worse. Typically, only one side of the body is affected by this condition. Occasionally, people will experience numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in the leg or foot that is affected.

Sciatica usually gets better with time and patience. However, if self-care techniques fail to heal the pain or if your pain lasts more than a week, is severe or becomes worse, it would be wise to call your doctor.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience:

  • Pain the follows a violent injury, such as a car accident.
  • Sudden, severe pain in the lower part of your back or in your leg as well as numbness or muscle weakness in your leg.
  • You have trouble controlling your bladder or bowels.

Mayo Clinic (2014). Sciatica.