The sciatic nerve is one of the largest nerves running through the body. While it starts at the top of your lower back, it also runs through your back, buttocks, thighs and down your legs. Many people associate sciatic nerve damage with the elderly, but it can also affect athletes and those of a younger age. You may notice that the pain starts after damaging your back while playing on your softball team, after helping a friend move or after sitting or standing for an extended period of time. It’s important that you look at the signs of sciatic nerve damage to determine whether you can treat those symptoms at home or if you need professional help from sports physical therapy of New York or a similar facility.
Constant and Frequent Pain
The most common sign of damage to the sciatic nerve is constant and frequent pain. Some experience a painful sensation so intense that they only find relief when sitting or laying in a specific position. This pain will usually surround one side of your body and cause pain from your back down to your knee. Some experience pain centralized around their lower backs. You’ll usually notice that the pain is worse on one side. Few patients experience pain on both sides.
Numbness and Weakness
Another common symptom is numbness. Most patients find that the pain dissipates over time and gives way to a numbing sensation. If you run your hand over the affected body part, you may not even feel it. Some describe this as more of a pins and needles sensation that worsens over time. It can eventually cause weakness in one or both legs too. Some feel so weak that they have a hard time standing or walking.
Keep your eye out for other symptoms, including a shooting pain or pain that intensifies as you move. The shooting pain is a sensation that occurs as the pain you experience moves rapidly from your back down your leg. Some experience a shooting pain between the back and buttocks or the buttocks and lower leg. You may also notice that your pain worsens when you roll over in bed, try to stand or make other sudden movements. If you experience any of these symptoms and worry that you damaged your sciatic nerve, make an appointment with your doctor to go over your treatment options.