5 Signs of Sciatica

If you’re suffering from ongoing shooting pain in your buttocks or legs, your sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in your body, could be compressed or irritated. The debilitating pain this condition, called sciatica, brings can make it difficult to make it through your day.

The providers at Peak Physical Medicine, in Visalia, California, know how challenging it is to deal with pain — especially when you aren’t sure about the cause. Our team has the expertise needed to diagnose and treat different types of pain so you can find relief.

Learn more about the signs of sciatica and how we can help you.

Sciatica basics

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body. It begins in your lower back, then branches across your hips and buttocks, and finally moves down your legs.

When this nerve becomes compressed or irritated, it can cause significant pain referred to as sciatica. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc, but there are other reasons you can develop this painful condition, including:

  • Arthritis and other joint conditions
  • Bone spurs
  • Tumors or cysts
  • Swollen muscles or tissue
  • Infection

Pregnancy can also trigger sciatica.

5 signs you may have sciatica

Experiencing pain of any kind is frustrating. This frustration grows when the cause isn’t clear. Knowing the signs to watch for that indicate you may have sciatica can help you understand when to seek help. Here’s a look at five common signs that indicate sciatica:

1. Sharp, shooting pain in your leg

The number one sign of sciatica is a sharp, shooting pain running from the back of your buttocks into one leg. People sometimes describe the pain as similar to an electric shock. This sharp, shooting pain may come and go, but it can create a constant ache or soreness in the affected leg.

2. Tingling, numbness, or burning in your leg

Sensations of tingling, numbness, or burning, sometimes called “pins-and-needles,” often accompany a compressed or irritated nerve anywhere in the body. When it comes to the sciatic nerve, you may experience these symptoms in your buttocks and legs.

3. Symptoms getting worse after rest

If your symptoms get worse after you sit or lie down for long periods, it could indicate sciatica. Sciatica symptoms can also get worse after you’ve been standing or on your feet for long stretches at a time.

4. Experiencing muscle weakness

Sometimes the leg affected by a compressed sciatic nerve can feel weaker than your other leg. It may even affect your gait and can cause pain in other areas of your body. Typically, runners or active people notice this sign more often than sedentary people.

5. Issues with balance and mobility

Sciatica can make it hard to move your leg or foot, and it can create issues with balance. If the irritation or compression of the nerve is extensive, you might even have trouble walking. And since sciatica makes it challenging to stand equally on both legs, it increases your risk of falling or losing your balance.

Treating sciatica with integrative chiropractic care

Your treatment for sciatica begins with an accurate diagnosis. To rule out other conditions, your Peak Physical Medicine provider uses a physical evaluation, discussion of your symptoms, and diagnostic testing to diagnose sciatica.

To treat your sciatica, your provider creates a personalized treatment plan with the goal of alleviating your pain and addressing the underlying problem that’s causing it. Our practice focuses on integrative chiropractic care as a treatment for sciatica, including therapies such as:

  • Nonsurgical spinal decompression
  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Cold therapy

Stop suffering from the pain sciatica can bring by contacting the team at Peak Physical Medicine in Visalia, California. Call us at 559-342-0251, or book an appointment online now.

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