Symptoms of Sciatica-How to Differentiate Sciatica from Ordinary Back Pain
What is sciatica?
When the sciatic nerve is irritated, the resultant pain is called sciatica.
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. It starts from the lumber region of the spinal cord and travels to the foot through buttocks, thigh and leg.
Symptoms of sciatica
In most cases, sciatica occurs due to the herniated disc that pinches or compresses the sciatica nerve root resulting in its inflammation. The pain of sciatica can be felt in the posterior thigh, lower leg or the foot.
Sciatica pain is generally accompanied by the lower back pain, but it is worse in the leg and the foot.
Most patients who suffer from sciatica have a history of lower back pain. Initially the patient feels a mild pain in the buttocks, but it soon tends to become severe as it starts running down to the leg and foot.The true sciatica pain, actually, shoots or radiates down the knee and leg. In some cases the lower back pain even disappears completely.
As the history of sciatica becomes longer, the pain gradually tends to get localized on the buttocks and the back of the thigh. The patient feels a tingling and sometimes burning and cramping sensation in the thigh.
The pain generally is not as severe as before. It becomes vague and does not travel beyond the knee into the lower leg or the foot as it did in its earlier stage.
Sciatica generally does not make a dramatic start by causing any traumatic pain. It may aggravate when the patient sits, squats, coughs, sneezes, has a bowel movement or lifts something heavy. The pain may also become worse if a person continues to sit or stand for a long time. A person who stands up after sitting on the toilet seat for some time also feels more pain.The patient experiences comfort and peace only when he lies down.
Sometimes the patient may feel weak. The pain may also affect the active movement of the bowel and bladder.
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