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Is Sciatica a Serious Condition?

Sciatica can range from moderate to severe in terms of urgency and severity. Some individuals experience mild sciatic nerve pain that doesn't frequently disrupt their day-to-day life. Others experience debilitating symptoms that can require surgery or other invasive treatments. How do you know which you fall under?

What kind of pain do you experience?

If you're concerned with your sciatic nerve pain, it's important to visit a doctor to explain your symptoms and type of pain. Sciatica sufferers usually suffer from one of the following kinds of pain:

  • Lower back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Pain that gets worse while sitting
  • Burning or sharp tingling down the leg
  • Numbness or difficulty moving leg
  • Constant pain on one side of the rear
  • Shooting pain when standing up

Mild Sciatic Nerve Pain

In many cases, sciatic nerve pain can go away on its own in a matter of months. Without complications, symptoms can be managed at home with basic stretches, daily exercise, TENS therapy, or Acupressure braces. You can watch a registered physiotherapist walk you through basic exercises to help alleviate sciatic nerve pain and allow sciatica to subside over time.

Serious Sciatic Nerve Pain

In other cases, sciatic nerve pain can require medical attention and invasive solutions. Permanent nerve damage can occur in some individuals with sciatica. There are more extreme symptoms that indicate sciatica could be entering a more severe stage. These symptoms include:

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Pain that wakes you up in the night
  • Redness or swelling on the spine
  • Unexplained weight-loss
  • Unexplained fever
  • Back pain lasting longer than four weeks

What causes sciatic nerve pain?

A number of factors can contribute to this kind of nerve pain. Some of these factors can be controlled and others develop on their own. A few potential causes include:

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Pregnancy
  • Muscle spasm
  • Being overweight
  • Not exercising regularly
  • Wearing high heels
  • Sleeping on a mattress that's too soft

Get more information on sciatic nerve pain

Download the Free Sciatica Pain Management Plan for more. Discover more detailed information and educational videos by exploring DR-HO'S Living Pain Free content:

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