The Top 5 Signs of Sciatica and How You Can Minimize Pain

When this nerve gets pinched or compressed, there are certain tell-tale signs your body will demonstrate indicating you have sciatica.

THE TOP 5 SIGNS OF SCIATICA

  1. Pain that extends from your lower back all the way down to the back of your leg and foot
  2. Pain in one buttock or leg that feels worse when sitting
  3. Pain in the back of your thigh and calf
  4. Constant hip pain or pain on only one side of the buttocks
  5. Tingling or burning sensation down one leg

Sciatica refers to lower back, hip, and leg pain resulting from irritation or injury of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs along the lower back, down through the buttocks, and down both legs to the heel and sole of each foot. As the longest and widest nerve in the human body, the sciatic nerve connects the spinal cord to various muscles in the lower back, legs, and feet, providing muscle movement and vital sensory information.

Common causes of sciatic pain are:

  • Herniated disk in your lower spine
  • Bone spurs on your vertebrae
  • Degenerative disk disease
  • A tumor, which can pinch the sciatic nerve
  • Narrowing of the spinal canal (known as spinal stenosis)
  • Muscle inflammation and injury or bone fractures

Sciatica pain can range from sharp and excruciating, to a dull ache. Mild forms of sciatica may go away in time, however some sciatica can be severe and debilitating. For short-term relief, over-the-counter medications like Advil (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen) can help. Also, rest, light activity, stretching, and the use of cold packs on affected areas may reduce pain. If the pain is severe or doesn’t go away after a week, then visit your doctor immediately for recommended treatment.

Sciatica is a common ailment that comes with aging, as age-related injuries and diseases can affect the sciatic nerve.

Other risk factors:

  • Obesity
  • Sitting for prolonged periods
  • Diabetes

To reduce your chances of getting sciatica, keep a healthy weight and exercise regularly. Try not to sit for long periods of time, and, when you do, maintain good posture. Avoid awkward twisting of the body or lifting of objects which may be too heavy for you.


Sciatica is just one cause of back pain – there are many other reasons why you may be experiencing lower back pain. To learn more about sciatica or to see what’s causing your back pain, you can always call Coastal Orthopedics today at 941-792-1404 to schedule an appointment or book an appointment online here.

Back pain is a serious condition that can get worse or become debilitating if left untreated. Don’t wait, visit an orthopedic specialist at Coastal Orthopedics if you’re tired of living with back pain. For more information on our Orthopedic and Pain Management Physicians, click here.