|Sciatic Nerve Pain|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Herniated disk (or slipped disk)—the cushions between the bones of your spine bulge out of place and press on the nerve as it exits the spinal column
- Arthritis in the lower back
- Spinal stenosis —narrowing of the spinal canal in the lumbar area
- Spondylolisthesis —slippage of a bone in the lower back
- Piriformis syndrome— spasm of piriformis muscle
- In rare cases:
- Male gender
- History of low back problems
- Anxiety and depression
- A job that requires standing for long periods of time and forward bending
- Heavy manual labor
- Heavy lifting
- Exposure to vibrations
- Burning, tingling, or a shooting pain down the back of one leg
Pain in one leg or buttock may get worse with:
- Standing up
- Weakness or numbness in a leg or foot
- Continuing weakness in a leg or foot
- Numbness in groin or the buttocks
- Difficulty walking, standing, or moving
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Fever, unexplained weight loss, or other signs of illness
- Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin , or ibuprofen
- Muscle relaxers for muscle spasm
- Corticosteroid injections in the back
- Certain antidepressants or anti-seizure medications for chronic pain
- Lose weight . Being overweight increases the risk of sciatica as well as other back, bone, and joint problems.
- When lifting, hold the object close to your body, keep a straight back, and use your leg muscles to slowly rise.
- Practice good posture to reduce pressure on your spine.
- Begin a safe exercise program with the advice of your doctor.
- If possible, avoid sitting or standing in one position for long periods.
- Consider job retraining if your work requires a lot of heavy lifting or sitting.
- If you smoke, quit.
American Association of Neurological Surgeons http://www.neurosurgery.org/
Allen C, Glasziou P, Del Mar C. Bed rest: a potentially harmful treatment needing more careful evaluation. Lancet. 1999; 354:1229-1233.
Sciatica. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00351 . Updated October 2007. Accessed December 6, 2012.
Sciatica. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated November 28, 2012. Accessed December 6, 2012.
Sciatica. Postgrad Med. 1997;102.
Waddell G, Feder G, Lewis M. Systematic reviews of bed rest and advice to stay active for acute low back pain. Br J Gen Pract. 1997;47:647-652.
6/7/2007 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Peul WC, van Houwelingen HC, van den Hout WB, et al. Surgery versus prolonged conservative treatment for sciatica. N Engl J Med. 2007;356:2245-2256.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012 -
- Update Date: 11/26/2012 -