Last Updated on December 22, 2020
Many people have heard of sciatica, but they do not know how it works and what affects or restricts it in practice. What is sciatica, after all? Sciatica is a nerve pain that accompanies the sciatic nerve – the nerve that runs from the lower back to the foot – and that causes enormous physical and psychological disturbances daily.
This sciatica nerve pain usually affects one side of the body and can be caused by inflammation, irritability, or damage to the sciatic nerve. How is that possible? What causes sciatica? Several aspects affect the sciatic nerve and lead to sciatica, such as poor posture when sitting, lifting objects that are too heavy, or even pregnancy, among other practical examples that cause lumbar discomfort.
That way, and for you to be the best prepared to face sciatica, we have prepared this article with the seven main sciatica symptoms you should be aware of to act on time if you feel that your sciatic nerve is compromised. They are:
Table of Contents
1. Low Back Pain – Watch for the Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES)
Lower back pain is one of the most frequent symptoms that people suffering from sciatica have. This pain usually appears in the lower back and can be mild or quite disabling. Many people experience this pain when doing the heaviest physical work, while others may feel sciatica stretches when standing, sitting, or making certain movements. And all of this is worrying if you don’t watch these symptoms because they can quickly evolve to a Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES). This condition increases the discomfort and difficulty in walking and doing the most routine daily life activities, which can lead to permanent paralysis. How to treat sciatica under these conditions? Several effective treatments help you fight sciatica, and the use of a lumbar belt provides immediate relief of pain in the sciatic nerve – the best sciatica belt is the one that covers the upper and lowers back – once that straightens your spine.
2. Cramps and Sharp Pains In The Back of the Legs
Another part of the body that is greatly affected by sciatica is the legs. So, it is natural that people suffering from sciatica have many cramps and sharp pains in the back of the legs, causing enormous muscle discomfort. If you make moves, it will be even worse, as you will have quite disabling pains. How to prevent sciatica from getting worse in this situation? It is necessary to stop, give the legs a rest (keep them up), perform physiotherapy sessions, and, if necessary, take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If you don’t, you risk having surgery so that you can fully recover.
3. Loss of Motor Control of the Legs
In addition to the cramps and sharp pains in the back of the legs, it is common for people suffering from sciatica to experience loss of sensation and motor control in their lower limbs. This is because the sciatic nerve no longer provides motor support to the central and hamstring muscles. This means that the constant compression made to a person’s sciatic nerve will bring him numerous physical problems in the medium/long term. In diabetic people, it is even worse, as it can lead to the need for amputation of the legs.
4. Difficulties in Flexing the Legs and Bending the Knees
This point is linked to the previous one as the lack of sensitivity and the loss of motor control of the legs will make you have serious difficulties in flexing your legs and bending your knees. This will cause you to lose your muscle mass and strength radically. This inability tends to cause an enormous difficulty in movement, completely limiting its range of action. In this sense, and for you to have greater sciatica pain relief, it is recommended that you take short daily walks to recover your muscles and to strengthen the sciatic nerve. You do not need to make a lot of physical effort, as the main goal is not to stay still and closed at home.
5. Tingling, Pins, and Needles Sensation in the Legs
People suffering from sciatica also experienced a tingling, stinging, and pinching sensation in the legs. And this strange and uncomfortable sensation restricts a person’s mobility and causes numerous difficulties in walking and even resting. Some people describe that these neurological symptoms are the same as you would feel if your legs fell asleep after sitting for a very long time. When you get up, you can no longer feel your legs and cannot walk properly. If there is already a tendency of distress at that time, what about people who have this feeling all the time? We can’t imagine.
6. Inflamed Hips? Be Sure to Exercise
Hip pain and inflammation around the hip nerve (especially in the L4 or L5 vertebrae) are common symptoms of sciatica sufferers. In this specific case, there is nothing better than physical exercise to work on this condition. You can and should do countless sciatica exercises to relieve pain in the sciatic nerve, with yoga exercises, Pilate’s exercises, and walking being the most effective and producing the best results. Therefore, exercise regularly (about two or three times a week) for faster and more effective relief of inflammation in your hips.
7. Urinary and Intestinal Incontinence – Avoid Unwanted Breakouts
The sciatica symptoms are limited to the pain of the sciatic nerve in the back, buttocks, legs, or feet, and the urinary and intestinal discomfort they cause. People suffering from sciatica can also suffer from incontinence, and the effects of faulty stools and urine can be catastrophic to a person’s psychological. These unwanted breakouts can be an effect of CES, and in that respect, you will need to do an appropriate treatment. How to prevent sciatica? Talk to your family doctor to about all the treatments that can help you have a healthy and peaceful life again. These are the seven alarming sciatica symptoms you shouldn’t ignore, so you don’t have a life of suffering. Keep in mind that symptoms tend to increase in severity, be chronic, and extend to other parts of the body. Therefore, you do not have to endure the pain just because you are getting older or with more worn-out limbs and joints. The sciatica treatment is effective and makes you regain your joy of living. Do not ignore yours and always strive to maintain a great quality of life.