Do you have sciatica? If you do, you know the symptoms of sciatica include leg pain—and possibly tingling, numbness, or weakness—that originate in the lower back and travel through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of each leg. Sciatica is not a diagnosis but a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Common lower back problems that can cause sciatica symptoms include a lumbar herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, or spinal stenosis.
Spine-Health characterizes sciatica by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Constant pain in only one side of the buttock or leg (rarely in both legs)
- Pain that is worse when sitting
- Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling, or searing (versus a dull ache)
- Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg, foot, and/or toes
- A sharp pain that may make it difficult to stand up or walk
- Pain that radiates down the leg and possibly into the foot and toes (it rarely occurs only in the foot)
Sciatic pain can vary from infrequent and irritating to constant and incapacitating. Symptoms are usually based on the location of the pinched nerve.
So if you have sciatica pain, what can you do to alleviate it? While the pain can be so debilitating that you don’t want to leave your coach, exercise is recommended. Healthline recommends six stretches to alleviate sciatica pain which include the reclining pigeon pose, sitting pigeon pose, forward pigeon pose, knee to opposite shoulder, sitting spinal stretch and standing hamstring stretch.
After seeing your doctor, the next line of intervention to treat sciatic pain may be a visit with a certified physical therapist. “The clue is to find experienced, manual trained physical therapists who combine an understanding of alignment, movement, and therapeutic exercise, and who set up a clear plan of care to reach measurable goals. After that, what’s left is to actively participate in the program,” says Mindy Marantz, PT, MS, GCFP.
Some people who suffer from sciatica pain turn to topical relief including Salonpas patches, creams and liquids. “I have a lot of sciatic pain,” reports a woman on a web discussion board on sciatica. “I do slow, deliberate stretches and for trigger points, my go-to is Salonpas Pain Relief Patches.”