Sciatica is a commonly experienced condition that results in lower back pain that radiates from the nerves in the back to one or both legs. It is caused by irritation to, or damage of, the sciatic nerve, which runs from the spine all the way down to the feet. It is most common amongst those who are over 40 but can affect all ages.
Sciatica can be anything from mild to very painful and can last for weeks or even months. If your symptoms continue for more than six weeks, you have what is known as persistent (chronic) sciatica.
Sciatica is different from ‘normal’ back pain, in that it may hardly affect the back at all. Instead, the pain radiates out from the lower back, down the buttocks and into one or both legs, right down to the calves. The pain often gets worse over time, and can often be made worse by a sudden movement or exertion such as with sneezing, coughing or laughing, standing or sitting for a long time, or bending backwards. Patients affected by sciatica describe their pain as comparable to an ‘electric shock’ running through their legs, or a ‘pins and needles’ sensation coupled with numbness and weakness. In most cases, sciatica only affects one side of the body.
A patient’s symptoms associated with sciatica often diminish while lying down or walking, but tend to get worse while sitting, standing for a long time, or bending backwards.
If you are experiencing symptoms similar to those described above and suspect you may have sciatica, contact us via the Web Form on this page or call us directly. We will then be able to organise a convenient time where you can meet one of our expert team of sports physicians who will be able to help assess your condition further.