There’s nothing worse than feeling a pain that just doesn’t seem to go away, especially when it begins to limit your mobility.
For many Americans, this kind of pain is a daily occurrence. In fact, 25% of American men and women experience daily pain (1).
Chances are, if you’ve never experienced chronic pain, you will at some point in your life. The Nation Health Institute estimates that 4 in 5 Americans will suffer from disabling back pain during their lifetimes. One of the most common causes of this pain is sciatica.
What Is Sciatica?
According to the Mayo Clinic, sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. This pain typically only affects one side of your body(2).
The pain can vary widely, from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating pain when you cough or sneeze, and prolonged sitting can aggravate symptoms (3).
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See also: sciatica stretches
- Constant shooting pain in only one side of the lower back, buttock or leg (rarely can occur in both legs)
- Deep, severe pain starting low on one side of the back
- A cramping sensation in the thigh
- Leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling or searing
- Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
- Difficulty standing up or walking
- Having trouble controlling your bowels or bladder