Pesky Sciatica Pain? There’s Hope For You!

August 3, 2023Kolton Opdahl
Low Back Pain

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a symptom caused by degeneration in the spine that presses on the sciatic nerve, which is a long nerve that stretches along the lower half of your body. It is defined as a radiating pain that generally moves through the hips, buttocks, and legs. Read more to find out what the common causes of sciatica are, symptoms, and types of treatment for relief. 

What causes Sciatica?

The most common cause of sciatica is degeneration of the spine. There are many cases that develop from spinal nerve compression, which is often caused by herniated discs. However, there are other possible causes of sciatica including:

  • Spinal bone spurs
  • Arthritis
  • Narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Nerve damage from diabetes
  • Spinal pressure due to pregnancy

In addition to these causes, there are risk factors that can make people more susceptible to developing this symptom. For instance:

  • Older age (degeneration & natural spinal changes)
  • Sitting for prolonged periods
  • Jobs that require constant heavy lifting or driving
  • Obesity


In most cases, sciatica affects one side of the body. The biggest sure sign of the condition is a radiating pain that starts at the spine and travels to the buttocks, thigh, and all the way down to the calf. Other indicators could be cramping, numbness & tingling, and weakness around the affected area. Depending on the situation, pain may be mild or severe. You’ll know it’s a severe case if it’s challenging to stand up or walk. 

If you are experiencing severe pain that aligns with sciatica symptoms (unexpected numbness, inability to function etc), then seek medical attention right away. Left untreated, sciatica can result in permanent nerve damage. 

Doctors will usually ask about your symptoms and sometimes have you perform stretches that irritate sciatica so they can get a clear idea of your issue. Sometimes, they may even request imaging tests so they can look for signs of degeneration or a herniated disc.


Treatment & Prevention

Most Sciatica cases are pretty minor and can be resolved with at-home care such as stretching, exercises, and pain management. These three things will help to relieve the pain and reduce symptoms so you can work towards a quicker recovery. Upon recovery, you could potentially have more sciatica episodes down the road. This is why it’s important to take care of yourself at home all the time to reduce the risk of recurring flare-ups. We recommend taking these precautions:

  • Get up and move throughout the day when sitting for a long time
  • Exercise / stretch / lift properly to avoid injury
  • Stretch regularly
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain proper posture throughout the day
  • Drink plenty of water

Alternative Treatment

If your symptoms are not improving after a few weeks of at-home treatment, then it is probably time to see a medical professional to help manage the pain. Chances are, they will prescribe you muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory drugs to help relieve symptoms. Additionally, they may refer you to physical therapy and / or suggest steroid injections to temporarily reduce inflammation.

If you’ve tried everything with no luck, then an option to consider is regenerative medicine, which will help reduce symptoms and promote muscle recovery. Ultimately, a final resort for relief is surgery. The procedure would simply involve the removal of a herniated disk or enlargement of the spinal canal. Both of these options will help relieve a lot of the spinal compression contributing to pain. Your doctor will determine which of these would be the best option for you.

Learn More About Alternative Ways to Alleviate Your Pain

Get back to doing the things you love, faster & without surgery.

Request an Appointment Today!