Sciatica is the medical term for pain caused by sciatic nerve inflammation. Starting in the spinal cord, the sciatic nerve passes through the hips and buttocks before branching down each leg. It directly impacts the capacity to control and feel the legs. This condition causes moderate to severe discomfort in your back, buttocks, and legs. You may also experience weakness, searing or stinging pain, or numbness in some places.

Sciatica is a sign of underlying damage to your sciatic nerve or a site that affects the nerve, such as the vertebrae. The term "sciatica" is frequently mistaken for normal back pain. Sciatica, on the other hand, is not restricted to the back. The sciatic nerve is the longest and broadest nerve in the human body, starting from the lower back down the legs and ending slightly below the knee. According to some experts, up to 40% of people may develop Sciatica at some point in their lives.


The nature and severity of sciatica symptoms differ from person to person. Certain activities might aggravate Sciatic nerve pain and other symptoms. Coughing, sneezing, back movement, and abrupt motions are all examples. Sciatica symptoms may include

  • Burning, numbness, or tingling in the Back, buttock, leg, or foot
  • The pain may spread from the lower back to the buttocks and leg and eventually to the foot.
  • Back, buttock, leg, or foot weakness

When to see a doctor?

Mild Sciatica typically resolves independently. However, if the pain is severe, gradually worsens, or lasts more than a week, you should see a doctor. Seek medical care immediately if:

  • Symptoms appear after a traumatic injury.
  • Fever, nausea and weight loss are common symptoms of Sciatica.
  • The leg can experience severe weakness or numbness.
  • Controlling bladder or bowel motions become difficult.


Many diseases that affect the nerves that go down your back might cause Sciatica. It can also be induced by accident, such as a fall, or by spinal or sciatic nerve tumors. Some common conditions that might cause Sciatica are as follows:

Herniated discs

The vertebrae are separated by cartilage discs. Herniated discs develop when the first layer of cartilage breaks. The material inside the disc might leak out and compress the sciatic nerve, causing lower leg pain and numbness.

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis : Spinal stenosis is often referred to as lumbar spinal stenosis. It is characterized by an excessive narrowing of the lower spinal canal, which puts pressure on the spinal cord and sciatic nerve roots.


Spondylolisthesis is one of the conditions linked with disc degeneration. When one spinal bone, or vertebra, moves forward over another, the nerves that make up the sciatic nerve might be pinched.

Piriformis syndrome

It's a rare neuromuscular illness in which the piriformis muscle spasms or tightness involuntarily, causing Sciatica. This muscle connects the lower section of the spine to the thigh bones and, when tightened, can impinge on the sciatic nerve, resulting in Sciatica. Piriformis syndrome might worsen if patients sit for long periods, fall, or are involved in a vehicle accident.

Risk Factors

Sciatica risk factors include:


Sciatica is most commonly triggered by changes in the spine due to age, such as herniated discs and bone spurs.


Obesity: Obesity puts additional tension on the spine.


Sciatica may be caused by work that requires twisting the back, carrying heavy goods, or operating a motor vehicle for lengthy periods.

Prolonged sitting

People who sit for prolonged periods or do not move much are more likely susceptible than active people to develop Sciatica.


Diabetes: Diabetes raises the risk of nerve injury because it alters how the body utilizes blood sugar.


Possible complications of unresolved Sciatica include the following:


Some causes of Sciatica are unavoidable, such as degenerative disc disease, Sciatica during pregnancy, or accidental falls. Even though preventing all cases of Sciatica is challenging. The precautions listed below can help protect your back and lower your risk:

Maintain Good Posture

Practicing good posture habits when sitting, standing, lifting, and sleeping might help ease lower back pain. Pain may be an early indication that you are not adequately sitting. Adjust the posture if you start to feel sore or stiff.

Don't Smoke

Nicotine lowers blood circulation to bones and weakens the spine and vertebral discs, putting additional strain on the spine and discs and causing back and spine disorders.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess weight and a poor diet are related to inflammation and discomfort all over the body. Consider the Mediterranean diet to lose weight or develop healthy eating habits.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise involves stretching to keep the joints flexible and strengthen the core, lower back, and belly muscles. These muscles help to keep the spine in place. Avoid sitting for prolonged periods.

Choose Physical Activities That Are Less Likely to Hurt The Back

Swimming, strolling, yoga, or tai chi are all low-impact activities.

Keep Yourself Safe From Falling

Wear proper footwear and keep stairs and pathways clear of debris to lower the chances of falling. Check for well-lit rooms, grab bars in restrooms, and stair railings.


The doctor performs a physical exam and symptom evaluation to diagnose Sciatica. To diagnose, treat, and occasionally monitor the illness, advanced diagnostic methods and technologies are utilized. Standard Sciatica diagnosis methods may include

CT scans

CT scans: A CT scan may involve infusing a dye into the spinal canal before taking X-rays (CT myelogram). The dye then circulates across the spinal cord and nerves, making them more visible in the photos.


A needle is used to inject contrast dye into one or more discs in the back, and a CT scan is performed to detect the status of the discs.

Electromyography (EMG)

Electromyography (EMG): This test involves inserting tiny, thin needles into the muscles of the arms and legs to capture electrical activity and evaluate function.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): This process creates cross-sectional pictures of the back using a strong magnet and radio waves. Because an MRI provides comprehensive images of bone and soft tissues, it can detect herniated discs and pinched nerves.


A spine X-ray may indicate an overgrowth of bone pushing on a nerve.


The most common sciatica treatments are


This treatment aims to ease pain and improve movement. Anti-inflammatory drugs and over-the-counter painkillers can help reduce pain and stiffness, allowing for more exercise and movement.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy for Sciatica can help relieve strain on the sciatic nerve. Sciatica stretches, exercises, walking, and core muscle strengthening are all options. Yoga, massage, and biofeedback are alternative therapies that help some people with sciatica pain.

Spinal Injections

A low-back injection of anti-inflammatory medication can help decrease swelling of the sciatic nerve roots.

Sciatica Surgery

Sciatica Surgery is reserved for those who have not responded to conservative therapy, have worsening symptoms, and are in significant pain and dysfunction.

Lifestyle Changes and Selfcare

Lifestyle changes can help ease symptoms. It can also put off flare-ups and keep symptoms from getting worse. A person's coping skills and outlook can also help manage MS. Some habits that may help are:

  • Working out can help with muscle strength, balance, and fatigue.
  • Swimming is a good choice. The water helps keep the body cool when swimming.
  • Eat a diet low in bad fats and rich in whole grains, fruits, and veggies. The fibre in grains, fruits, and veggies helps stop constipation.
  • Vitamin D levels can be checked in the blood. Supplements may need to be taken if levels are low.
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinks that cause dehydration, like drinks with caffeine.
  • Many people with MS notice that stress makes their health problems worse. Think about getting massages and doing other things that lower stress, such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing.
  • Smoking may worsen MS. People who smoke should talk to their doctor about choices for quitting. There are classes, online self-help programs, nicotine replacement products, medicines, and many other options.
  • Take plenty of rest as it helps ease fatigue.

Do's & Don'ts

Many people worldwide struggle with back pain, and Sciatica is a common cause of chronic back pain. Sciatica is a disorder affecting the sciatic nerve. The primary cause of this discomfort is a herniated disc in the lower back, which most commonly happens in pregnant women or after childbirth. If you suffer from Sciatica, there are a few things you should and shouldn't do to avoid further injury and pain.

Exercise regularlySit for extended periods
Consider physical rehabilitationTwist your spine
Strengthen your back muscles to prevent sciatica Do activities that might strain your back
Avoid slouchingLift heavy weights before warming up
Use heat or cold compress to relieve sciatica painDo high impact exercises

To fight this condition, follow the do’s and don'ts to reduce or to avoid the Sciatica pain. Consult your doctor if the pain has not reduced after using home remedies for a few weeks, or if you are unable to do your normal daily activities or the pain is getting worse.

Care at Medicover

We have the best group of doctors and healthcare specialists at Medicover Hospitals. They are skilled in providing the best medical treatment to our patients with compassion and care. Our diagnostic department is equipped with cutting-edge technology and tools to conduct the necessary examinations to diagnose Sciatica. Our expert team of rheumatologists, orthopedists, neurologists, and physiotherapists takes a systematic approach to diagnosing and treating the problem. They provide the necessary medical, surgical, and physical treatment to treat this condition accurately.


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