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5 Signs of Sciatica

The symptoms of sciatica are typically hard to overlook. The pain originates from your sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the human body. When this nerve becomes pinched or inflamed, it can cause many different types of pain. 

Aching, burning, and even feelings of electric shock running down one or both legs can affect your ability to walk, sit, and rest comfortably. With the help of a specialist, you can find the root cause of this pain and begin working towards a solution. 

Dr. Kenneth Light is an orthopedic surgeon treating patients from his practice locations in San Francisco and San Leandro, California, He can accurately diagnose sciatica and create a treatment plan for the underlying cause of your pain.

5 signs of sciatica

Sciatica refers to pain from the sciatic nerve, but not everyone experiences the exact same kind of pain. One person might experience a mild, radiating ache, while another person might experience a sharp, shooting pain that keeps them from moving. 

Many people experience multiple symptoms, including: 

  1. Pain that begins in your lower back or buttocks, possibly radiating down the leg
  2. Pain that gets worse when you move or sit down
  3. Pins and needles or painful tingling in your legs and feet
  4. Numbness and weakness in the legs and feet
  5. Lopsided pain that only occurs on one side of the body

Sciatica typically only affects one side, though bilateral sciatica can occur. If you’re experiencing sciatica in both legs, it might be a sign that something more serious is wrong. 

Common causes of sciatica

When discussing sciatica, it’s important to remember that it’s not a condition, but a symptom of an underlying problem. The sciatic nerve is being pinched or inflamed, which is causing the pain. Once you’re able to diagnose what is affecting the nerve, the issue can be treated properly. 

Common causes of sciatica include: 

Certain factors can put you at risk for sciatica, including obesity, age, diabetes, and prolonged sitting. In order to diagnose the cause of your sciatica, Dr. Light will ask questions and perform an examination, and may run tests to see what’s irritating your sciatic nerve. 

When to visit a specialist 

Sciatica is usually temporary, and the underlying cause might resolve itself. However, if your sciatica continues for over a week, becomes severe, or begins to seriously affect your mobility, a visit to a specialist might be necessary. 

You should seek immediate medical attention if:

To learn more about sciatica and discuss treatment options, get in touch with Dr. Kenneth Light by calling the location nearest you or by requesting an appointment online.

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