Symptoms of sciatica

What is sciatica?

Sciatica refers to pain that radiates down the path of the sciatic nerve, which starts at your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

The symptoms of sciatica can be severe, but most cases are able to be resolved with non-operative treatment.1

The NHS states if you have sciatica, your:

  • Bottom
  • Back of your leg
  • Foot and toes

May feel:

  • Painful – the pain may be stabbing, burning or shooting
  • Tingling – like pins and needles
  • Numb
  • Weak
Symptoms of sciatica

Your symptoms may be worse when moving, sneezing or coughing2. Prolonged sitting can also aggravate symptoms1

Pain that radiates from your lower spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg is the hallmark of sciatica.

Can sciatica occur down both legs?

Sciatica usually only affects one side of your body. However, it is possible for sciatica to occur in both legs.3

How can I help relieve the pain of sciatica?2

  1. Look up exercises for sciatica relief
  2. Start gentle exercise as soon as you can, anything that gets you moving will help
  3. Ask your pharmacist about painkillers
  4. Carry on with your normal activities as much as possible
  5. Try not to sit or lie down for long periods, even if moving hurts, it’s not harmful and can help you to get better
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