Sciatica is a common nerve damage condition, affecting upwards of 3 million people each year in the United States. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know how to identify whether their leg pain is sciatica. However, there are a few telltale signs that the pain you’re experiencing is not just passing numbness, but the result of a sciatic nerve compression. The most common symptoms of sciatica include:
- Lower back pain
- Tingling and numbness in the thigh and leg
- Difficulty moving legs
These may seem like common issues. So, how do you know if your leg pain is actually sciatica? There are symptoms that tend to be mostly unique to sciatica, such as pain that radiates from your lower back towards your hip and down the outside of the leg, among others:
- Pain worsens while sitting
- Inner thigh pain and numbness
Along with these telltale signs, if you happen to be a male between the ages of 18 and 35 (the most affected population), you could be suffering from a sciatic nerve compression. Additionally, if you are known for lifting heavy weights, having poor posture, or exercising infrequently, your chances of suffering from sciatica increase.
Tips for Preventing Sciatica
There are a lot of everyday things we do that can lead to sciatica, but there are also a lot of healthy habits we can introduce into our lives to prevent it. Smoking, wearing high heels, and sleeping on a mattress that is either too soft or too hard can all lead to sciatica – so, if you believe you are at risk, it may be best to avoid these. On the flip side, practicing good posture and exercising with light weights can prevent sciatica. Implementing a preventative chiropractic visit into your routine can help you have better posture and develop more agility in many aspects of your life.
Sciatica can last for several months and often requires lab imaging for a proper diagnosis. It can also lead to dangerous complications including loss of bladder or bowel function, total numbness in the leg, and extreme weakness of the leg, so it is best to see an Orthopedist or Neurologist if you believe you already suffer from sciatica. If you don’t currently suffer from sciatica, but belong to a risk factor group or the commonly affected populations, including people who are:
- Male between 18-35
You could benefit from adopting chiropractic treatments into your life to prevent developing sciatic nerve compression in the future. Chiropractic care can correct your poor posture and lead to a more satisfying quality of life.