What is Sciatica?


What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a term used to describe pain anywhere along the sciatic nerve. People commonly complain of pain in the back part or outer part of their thigh (glutes, hamstrings and Iliotibial Band) and calf. In some cases pain may be felt in the bottom of the foot and toes.

Sciatica is sometimes referred to as radicular pain since the pain generally “radiates” down the leg.

  • Pain is commonly described as a shooting, burning, stinging or numbing sensation in one or both legs.
  • Pain is sometimes felt with sneezing, coughing and straining.
  • People will commonly report increased pain with sitting as well.
  • In some cases, weakness or numbness in one or both of your limbs may appear. Weakness in the ankle or leg will often cause your foot to drag or slap the ground while walking. This would be a reason to see a Medical Doctor more urgently, preferably an Orthopedic Physician (you may need to ask your Primary Care Doctor for a referral).

*Despite this weakness you will still benefit greatly from this course for pain resolution, improvements in strength and to diminish further injury to your back.

Quick Self Test For Sciatica

In many cases, those with Sciatica will have a positive Straight Leg Raise Test. The straight leg raise test will place tension on the Sciatica nerve creating YOUR pain, numbness and or tingling in the leg.

We are looking for reproduction of YOUR exact pain or numbness, not the feeling of tension or discomfort in your hamstring which may also accompany this motion. If this position recreates pain and/or numbness and tingling in your leg we can confidently say you have Sciatica.

This is something you can attempt on your own. Give it shot! You can just lie on your back and raise your leg. No friends are required!

  1. First, raise your right leg and then lower it. Did this cause your pain?
  2. Next, raise your left leg and then lower it. Did this cause your pain?

In some cases, people with Sciatica will NOT feel pain with this test.

Radiating pain down the leg, especially with sitting, bending, twisting and coughing are strongly linked to Sciatica however. These symptoms alone are often enough for us to confidently say you have Sciatica regardless of the outcome of this test.

*Regardless of the outcome of this test you will still benefit from this course for helping resolve pain and improve back health.