Have you ever said that? Or maybe someone you know has said it? It means that they are in pain that is making them incredibly uncomfortable. But what is sciatica?
What is sciatica
It refers to pain that follows the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. It can happen along any part of the nerve pathway, but it usually follows along the low back to your buttock and down the back of your thigh and calf. The symptoms range from numbness and tingling, muscle weakness to pain. Pain which can vary from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation. It can be uncomfortable or downright excruciating pain. Sometimes it can feel like a jolt or electric shock. Coughing or sneezing can aggravate it, as can sitting for a long period of time. It usually only affects one side of the body.
Compressed sciatic nerve
It happens when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or spinal stenosis compresses the sciatic nerve which causes inflammation, pain, and numbness in the leg. While sometimes it can require surgery to treat the problem, most of the time sciatica can be treated with physical therapy. If it’s severe, meaning significant leg weakness or problems with bowel or bladder incontinence, surgery may be the best option.
Physical therapy will help
Most of the time that’s not the case and physical therapy can make the problems considerably better. Talk to your doctor today about what the best treatment for you could be, and then see a physical therapist. They will work with you to come up with a treatment plan to make your life better.