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What Exactly Is Sciatica?
Do You Have Sciatica?

 

Sciatica can be very debilitating. If you suffer from this condition, you must arm yourself with important information that you need to know to help make sure your condition does not become permanent and irreversible. Let’s go over what sciatica is so that you understand your condition.

The symptoms of sciatica can include sharp pain, burning pain, numbness, tingling and/or weakness in any or all of the following areas:

  • low back
  • buttocks
  • back of the thigh
  • calf
  • foot

If the sciatic nerve is compressed hard enough, muscle weakness can occur making it hard to stand up on the tip toes creating a limp when walking.  It’s usually on one side only, but some people experience sciatica on both sides. Unlike simple low back pain, sciatica symptoms often go below the knees.

If your sciatica problem does not get corrected fully… or soon enough… your sciatic pain, numbness or tingling may later be accompanied by or replaced by weakness of your affected leg muscles… causing “foot drop.” 

Have you ever seen people dragging one foot when they walk? 
They might have uncorrected sciatica.

Before developing sciatica, you may have felt a sharp pain, a dull ache or stiffness in your low back… for days, months or even years.

If your low back condition didn’t get treated properly, your low back pain may have progressed to sharp shooting pain, burning pain or numbness down your butt, back of your thigh, or back of your leg or foot… a condition known as sciatica.

Usually, sciatica symptoms are only on one leg or one thigh or one foot. But it’s possible to have sciatica on both legs, thighs or feet.

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For some people, their sciatica comes and goes.
If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that your leg pain,
foot numbness or leg numbness is worse than the last episode.

In the beginning, your sciatica may be more of an annoyance versus being debilitating. But your sciatica nerve pain and sciatica numbness can quickly become serious and debilitating after doing a MINOR activity such as sleeping the wrong way, sitting the wrong way, picking up an object from the ground… or lifting an object.

As your condition gets worse, your sciatic nerve will degenerate or die.

Because of this, you’ll lose function. Without proper sciatic nerve input, your thigh, leg and foot muscles on the side of your sciatica symptoms will get smaller and weaker. Your affected muscles may also develop scar tissues… similar to the gristle that you see in a cheap cut of meat.

Your lost muscle mass and lost muscle strength will make it more difficult for you to climb stairs or walk up hills.

In the beginning, it’s harder to notice the muscle loss in your butt, thigh, leg or foot. Have someone look at these areas and see if they notice muscle loss on the side of your sciatic nerve pain.

If you lose muscle mass in your foot, you may notice that your shoe on the side of your sciatic nerve pain will be looser than the other side.

Because of your muscle imbalance, you may also notice that one of your hips is higher than the other hip… or that one of your legs is shorter than the other… a functional short leg.

Image of a digital foot scan seen in some patients who need sciatica treatmentThis can cause uneven wear patterns on your shoes and
collapsed foot arches as shown on the above digital foot scan.

Look at the bottom of the shoes that you normally wear.  Do you notice uneven wear and tear patterns between your right shoe and your left shoe? You may also notice being more clumsy… for example, tripping more often. Besides losing muscle mass and strength, you’ll also most likely LOSE normal range of motion and flexibility in your low back spine… and maybe in your leg and foot.

A lot of people can deal with the nagging sciatic nerve pain or sciatica numbness… especially when it comes and goes. But it’s a lot harder for people to deal with the loss of function that comes later when their Sciatic Nerve Impingement Syndrome doesn’t get fixed.

However, untreated sciatica that progresses to the advanced degenerative stages almost always results in PERMANENT loss of function that will affect your activities of daily living… including your job and your hobbies. 

For example, most of us take for granted being able to sit in the car and drive. But, if your sciatica gets worse, just the act of sitting in the car can be excruciatingly painful… making driving dangerous for you and for those around you.

The sooner you receive proper treatment for your sciatica, the better your chances of a FULL AND COMPLETE RECOVERY.

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2959 Park Ave., Suite F
Soquel, CA  95073
(831) 475-8600

We’re at the corner of Park Ave. and Soquel Dr.
Walk-ins welcome.  NO long-term treatment plans.
Over 3,500 patients helped after 16 years in practice.

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