Symptoms of Sciatica: Sciatica symptoms can range from mild and inconvenient to severe and incapacitating. The symptoms vary depending on which spinal nerve root is inflamed and/or squeezed at the sciatic nerve’s origin. It’s possible that one or more nerve roots are impacted at the same time.
While certain symptoms are unique to nerve roots, others are universal to all forms of sciatica.
Common Sciatica Symptoms
Sciatica normally affects just one leg at a time, with symptoms extending down the leg from the lower back or buttocks. Pain at the front, back, and/or sides of the thigh and leg can be caused by sciatica. The following are some of the most prevalent symptoms of sciatica:
Pain. Sciatica pain can be persistent or sporadic. A scorching sensation or a sharp, shooting pain are common descriptions of the discomfort. When compared to the back, leg discomfort is frequently more severe. Leg discomfort is more frequent in the calf area below the knee than in other areas of the leg. Let’s Know About Symptoms of Sciatica.
Altered sensation. The back of the leg may experience numbness, tingling, or a pins-and-needles feeling.
Weakness. Leg and foot weakness may be experienced. It may be difficult to elevate the foot off the floor if the afflicted leg feels heavy.
Change in posture may aggravate or relieve pain. Sciatica discomfort can be exacerbated by certain postures:
Sciatica pain can be exacerbated by sitting, trying to stand up, standing for an extended period of time, bending the spine forward, twisting the spine, and coughing.
While lying down, pain may rise or remain persistent, disrupting sleep. 1 In such circumstances, sleeping on your back with your knees slightly lifted and propped up with a cushion, or lying on your side with a pillow between your legs, may help ease the discomfort.
Walking, placing a hot pack to the back of the pelvic region, or practising pelvic exercises will help ease discomfort.
Other sciatica symptoms may be unique to the nerve root in question. L4, L5, S1, S2, and S3 are the five nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica Symptoms for Each Nerve Root
When the L4, L5, and/or S1 nerve roots are damaged, sciatica symptoms are common. The symptoms of sciatica caused by each of these nerve roots are explained below. Let’s Know About Symptoms of Sciatica.
- Sciatica from the L4 nerve root may cause:
- Pain in the hip, thigh, inner (medial) knee, and calf.
- Loss of feeling in the inner calf
- Weakness in the muscles that draw the legs together, such as the thigh and hip muscles.
- Tendon reflex loss in the knee (reduced knee-jerk reflex).
Sciatica from the L5 nerve root may cause:
- o Pain in the buttocks, thigh, and leg on the outside (lateral) side.
- o Sensitivity loss in the skin between and over the great toe and the second toe.
- o Muscle weakness in the buttocks and legs.
- o Difficulty moving the ankle and raising the great toe.
Sciatica from the S1 nerve root, also called classic sciatica, may cause:
o Buttock, back of the calf, and side of the foot pain
o Loss of feeling in the third, fourth, and fifth toes on the outside side of the foot.
· Difficulty walking on tiptoes or elevating the heel off the ground.
o Muscle weakness in the buttocks and feet.
o Tendon reflex loss in the ankle (reduced ankle-jerk reflex).
Sciatica pain is caused by inflamed nerve roots caused by an inflammatory disease such a herniated disc or pelvic muscle spasm. When a nerve is crushed, the symptoms are typically severe, resulting in significant limb weakness and loss of function.
Types of Sciatica
Sciatica may be classified into many categories based on the length of symptoms and whether one or both legs are affected:
Acute sciatica. Sciatica is a painful condition. Acute sciatica is sciatic nerve pain that appears suddenly and lasts for four to eight weeks. Pain may be self-managed and does not always necessitate medical attention. Let’s Know About Symptoms of Sciatica.
Chronic sciatica. Chronic sciatica is defined as sciatic nerve pain that persists for more than 8 weeks and does not respond to self-care. Chronic sciatica may require nonsurgical or surgical treatment, depending on the aetiology.
Alternating sciatica. Sciatica that affects both legs alternately is referred to as alternating sciatica. Sciatica of this sort is uncommon, and it can be caused by sacroiliac joint degeneration. Let’s Know About Symptoms of Sciatica.
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- Bilateral sciatica. Bilateral sciatica affects both legs at the same time. This form of sciatica is uncommon and can be caused by degenerative changes in the vertebrae and/or discs at many levels of the spine, as well as severe disorders such cauda equina syndrome.
The term “wallet sciatica” is a colloquial term for sciatic discomfort caused by sitting on a wallet (or any object in the back pocket of a trouser).
The goal of sciatica therapy is to get to the root of the problem. It’s critical to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis, to rule out the chance of a significant medical issue, and to receive appropriate treatment.
Dr Vipin the managing director of KLM Group. He is a well-known gold-medalist Orthopedic Surgeon, strongly reputed for his trusted and focused attitude our rich knowledge and experience, be assured of quality healthcare and world-class medical services in Orthopaedic, Spine care, Ophthalmology, X-ray & Diagnostics services along with physiotherapy services.
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