Most of us have had back pain of various degrees at some point in our lives – courtesy of our sedentary lifestyle. But with sciatica, you’ll immediately know that something’s different. The tell-tale sign of sciatica is pain that starts in your lower back and shoots down one leg, sometimes all the way down to your foot. When there is any injury or pressure on the sciatic nerve, you will feel the pain that is known as sciatica.
Sciatica can start as mild pain and quickly get worse if not treated immediately. Typically sciatica affects only one side of your body. Here are five warning signs to look out for that indicate you may have sciatica:
- Sharp shooting pain: You may have sciatica if you feel a dull throbbing pain or an acute, shooting pain that radiates from your back all the way to your ankle. The pain may be constant or intermittent.
- Numbness in your back, buttocks, or leg: One of the key indications that you’re dealing with sciatic nerve damage is numbness. When your sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated, it can result in numbness in that area. Although numbness might seem better than debilitating pain, it might cause difficulty in completing your daily tasks. Additionally, you may also feel burning or tingling sensations as well.
- Muscle weakness: Sciatica nerve damage makes it difficult to move around quickly. Since your movement becomes restricted, it results in gradual muscle weakness in your body. Muscle weakness from sciatica disrupts your entire lifestyle as you cannot walk, stand or exercise like you usually would.
- Loss of balance: If you are having trouble standing fully upright, sciatica may be the culprit. Since sciatica tends to affect one leg, the tingling pain in the affected leg might make it hard to stand or sit sometimes. Sciatic nerve damage might also make it challenging to keep your balance.
- Worsening pain while sitting down: Mild sciatica usually resolves on its own with postural changes and gentle exercises. However, if your sciatic nerve damage is severe, it might become painful even to sit. If you’re experiencing pain while sitting down, sciatic nerve compression or irritation might be the cause.
Causes for sciatica:
Many causes can lead to sciatic nerve pain, and it’s not easy to pinpoint one single cause. Anything that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve can lead to pain. Here are some of the common causes of sciatic pain:
- A herniated disc in your lower spine
- Degenerative disk disease
- Any form of injury in the spine
- Bone spur
- Spinal stenosis
- A tumour that could pinch the sciatic nerve
- Muscle inflammation and injury or even bone fractures
Many other risk factors could contribute to sciatic pain:
- Sitting for prolonged periods
Mild cases of sciatica usually respond well to over-the-counter medicines or hot/cold packs, but if your back pain persists beyond a week or gets worse, it’s advisable to see an orthopaedic to diagnose the issue. Our doctors at OrthoSports have years of experience in the field of Orthopaedics and will diagnose your problem accurately and recommend the right line of treatment. You can rest assured that our team here is well-equipped to treat all your orthopaedic problems using advanced equipment and a modern approach.
If you are looking for comprehensive treatment for any of your orthopaedic problems, walk into our orthopaedic clinic today in Dubai, and we’ll be happy to help. You can also book your appointment here or visit our website www.orthosp.com for more information.