Do I Really Have Sciatica?

Dr. Alex Vidan

Sciatica is one of the most well-known conditions related to back pain, and many people tend to diagnose themselves with it just because their back pain extends to their legs. But, there's more to this condition than just that. 

To shed light on this subject, we will talk about what sciatica is and how to determine if you really have it or not. 

What Is Sciatica? 

Sciatica is a condition given by the compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower part of your back through each of your legs. If your spinal discs are somehow pinching this nerve or compressing it, the pain you feel will travel from the lower back down the leg. 

The type of pain you feel can vary from sharp, sudden pain to a dull, continuous ache. But many other conditions can give you the same kind of pain:

  • Arthritis of the spine
  • Malfunction of the sacroiliac joint
  • Piriformis syndrome

Because all of these conditions are treated differently but have the same symptoms, it’s very important to be diagnosed by a neurologist or a chiropractor. 

Symptoms of Sciatica

To diagnose sciatica, your doctor will try to connect your leg pain to the lower back, as this is what defines sciatica. At first, you will have a talk with the doctor and they will ask if there are certain movements or actions that trigger/aggravate the pain, or if it disappears when you are in a certain position. 

Most common symptoms of sciatica are:

  • Pain in the back of the leg: if your pain is located on the sides or front, sciatica is not causing them. 
  • Tingling in the leg
  • Numbness
  • Weakness of the affected leg
  • Associated lower back pain

After the initial talk, you are likely to undergo a physical exam, and even some investigations (CT scan or MRI). Your doctor or chiropractor will ask you to do certain movements and describe your sensations. 

How Fast Is Recovery?

According to studies, about half of the people who suffer from sciatica will see improvement after a week, and most of the rest are better after only a month. With chiropractic care, the recovery is much faster and you will notice an overall improvement of your mobility and well-being. 

Very few of the people who suffer from true sciatica will need surgery, as regular treatment with medication, physiotherapy and chiropractic care is enough to remove the symptoms and causes of sciatica. 

Book an Appointment with Us

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with sciatica or you are feeling similar symptoms and you want to find out what causes them, contact us and book an appointment with one of our specialists. You will not only get a clear diagnosis, but you will also receive treatment for your pain and other referrals, if needed.

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