Sciatica is different from ordinary back pain. Sciatica is an injury, irritation, or inflammation of the sciatic nerve, the longest and largest nerve in the body. Mild sciatica can go away in a few days. If your sciatica is chronic, you may feel a sharp or dull pain on a regular basis. Physical therapy, pain-relieving medications, and steroid injections are some of the treatments for sciatica pain. In case non-invasive methods don’t improve your condition, your doctor may recommend surgery.
To treat sciatica right away, you must know what its symptoms are. Here are some early warning signs that you may have sciatica. If you notice any of them, you should see a specialist for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
What Are the Early Signs of Sciatica?
Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is the hallmark sign of sciatica. The pain will begin in your lower back and travel down your buttock, leg, and foot. The pain is usually only felt on one side of your lower extremities, but in rare cases, it’s possible to experience pain in both sides. Sitting down, bending over, and sudden movements often worsen sciatica pain.
Weakness or Numbness of the Foot or Leg
Aside from pain, another sign you may have sciatica is weakness or numbness in your foot or leg. There may also be instances when you are unable to lift your leg and walk or your leg gives out when you stand up. Such symptoms can make it more likely for you to lose your balance and fall, leading to injuries.
Burning or Tingling Sensation Down One Leg
If you feel your leg tingling or burning, something may be interfering with your sciatic nerve. Instead of a dull ache, this symptom may feel like an electric shock, pins, and needles, or a prickling sensation.
If this sensation worsens, seek a doctor to diagnose and treat it right away, as it may result in other neurological problems.
What Can Happen If You Ignore the Early Signs of Sciatica?
One of the worst-case scenarios of having sciatica is when you experience incontinence, or the inability to control your bladder or bowels. It is one of the symptoms of a severe medical condition called cauda equina syndrome.
Cauda equina syndrome can also cause sudden pain and weakness in both legs, numbness in your genitals, and sexual dysfunction. It often requires immediate surgery. If left untreated, it can result in difficulty walking or even neurological problems.
If you ignore the early signs of sciatica, chances are you may experience worsening neurological symptoms. You may feel an abnormal crawling sensation or an increased sensitivity to pain in one or both legs. This situation will call for immediate treatment to avoid further complications and irreversible nerve damage.
Sciatica Treatment in Rochester Hills, Bad Axe, and Lapeer, Michigan
Sciatica, if left untreated, can lead to many complications and discomfort. If you notice the early signs of sciatica, consult with a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Ahlgren Spine provides treatment for sciatica and other spine-related issues through surgical and non-surgical methods. Visit us today and get high-quality and patient-centered care from us. If you want to know more about sciatica or schedule an appointment, call us at (248) 215-8080. You can also request an appointment online.