|Sciatic Nerve Pain|
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- Herniated disk—the cushions between the bones of your spine bulge 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
- Cauda equina syndrome—nerve roots at the base of the spinal cord are compressed
- Piriformis syndrome— spasm of piriformis muscle
- Heavy manual labor
- Heavy lifting
- Exposure to vibrations
- A job that requires standing for long periods of time and forward bending
- Fractures in the back
- Metabolic problems, such as diabetes
- 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
- Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers
- Muscle relaxers for muscle spasms
- Corticosteroid injections in the back
- Antidepressants or antiseizure medications for chronic pain
- Use proper body movement when playing sports, exercising, or lifting heavy objects.
- 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.
North American Spine Society http://www.spine.org
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.orthoinfo.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Allen C, Glasziou P, et al. Bed rest: A potentially harmful treatment needing more careful evaluation. Lancet. 1999; 354:1229-1233.
Sciatica. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Ortho Info website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00351. Updated October 2007. Accessed November 26, 2013.
Sciatica. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 22, 2013. Accessed November 26, 2013.
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 http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Peul WC, van Houwelingen HC, et al. Surgery versus prolonged conservative treatment for sciatica. N Engl J Med. 2007;356:2245-2256.
- Reviewer: Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 11/26/2013 -