About that Pain Shooting Down Your Leg

OK, so you’re stuck in traffic on the Chisholm Trail Parkway and suddenly your leg on the accelerator starts burning and is painful. Even worse, your butt could start to burn. The pain could be shooting down one or both legs.

Not the best recipe for a happy rush hour.

Sounds like you may be having a bout of sciatica. Sciatica is pain originating in the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down the back of your legs. Since sciatica is hard to pronounce, but quite prevalent, let’s give August’s two DFW Center for Spinal Disorders blogs over to this painful condition.

What is sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body, stretching from the spinal cord to the end of each leg. Sciatica is inflammation of the sciatic nerve. It generally develops over time as the nerve is compressed. Sciatica is characterized by pain along the nerve pathway, as well as numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness in the affected muscles.

What causes sciatica?

The compression of the sciatic nerve is often the result of a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. In a herniated disc, the bulging disc can push on the sciatic nerve. In stenosis, the spinal canal narrows over time usually due to a bone spur and begins to push on the nerve.

These are some other causes of sciatica:

  • Piriformis syndrome, a muscle disorder
  • Nerve damage from diabetes
  • Pelvic injury
  • Tumor
  • Pregnancy
  • Muscle spasms in the back or buttocks
  • Extended periods sitting or driving

Symptoms of sciatica

These are the common symptoms associated with sciatica:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in the butt or leg that occurs when sitting
  • Hip pain
  • Burning or tingling down the leg
  • Weakness or numbness when moving a leg or foot
  • A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up
  • A constant pain on one side of the buttocks

In August’s second blog, we’ll get into how Dr. Tinley helps our patients move past the pain of sciatica.

Now that you know the ins and outs of sciatica (hopefully not from firsthand knowledge, either), if you’re feeling its effects, call Dr. Tinley at (817) 916-4685 to set up an appointment.

Posted in: Sciatica

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