Sciatica causes pain and sometimes tingling in the back of the leg from the low back and hip to as far down as the foot. Sometimes weakness accompanies the pain. Trigger points in the hips and low back can also refer pain down the back of the leg.
Leg Pain & Sciatica Treatment
What is Sciatica?
It is not a diagnosis so much as it is a syndrome. It consists of leg pain, which might feel like a bad leg cramp. Otherwise, it can be excruciating, shooting pain that makes standing or sitting nearly impossible.
The pain might be worse when you sit, sneeze, or cough. This type of pain can occur suddenly or it can develop gradually. You might also feel weakness, numbness, or a burning or tingling (“pins and needles”) sensation down your leg, possibly even in your toes. Less common symptoms might include the inability to bend your knee or move your foot and toes.
- A herniated or slipped disc that causes pressure on a nerve root. This is the most common cause of a true sciatica.
- Piriformis syndrome. This develops when the piriformis muscle, a small muscle that lies deep in the buttocks, becomes tight or spasms, which can put pressure on and irritate the sciatic nerve.
- Spinal stenosis. This condition results from narrowing of the spinal canal with pressure on the nerves.
- Spondylolisthesis. This is a slippage of one vertebra so that it is out of line with the one above it, narrowing the opening through which the nerve exits
Chiropractic care, sports massage, physical therapy modalities, stretching, and core strengthening are all helpful for low back and leg pain.