Sciatica: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Sciatica: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

May 1, 2022

One of the main reasons for hospital visits in the country is lower back pain. It is a problem that affects men and women alike. Lower back pain can be debilitating to the point that mundane and simple tasks become an uphill battle to carry out.

That’s why there are scores of people who visit our urgent care in Richmond, TX, to receive treatment for lower back pain. At times people may experience pain at the base of their lower back that sometimes branches through the buttocks and down the leg. If this happens to you, then it is known as sciatica.

Sciatica, In a Nutshell

Sciatica is the thickest (almost as wide as your finger) and longest nerve in your body. The nerve has five nerve roots: three from the end section of your spine and the other two from the lower back region. These five nerve roots link to form the right and left sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs on each side of your body through your hips, buttocks, and down your leg, ending slightly below your knee.

So, when you have nerve pain due to an irritation or injury to the sciatic nerve, then this is when the condition is known as sciatica. However, true injury to the sciatic nerve is very rare. The term “sciatica” describes any pain that begins at your lower back and goes down your leg.

Therefore, you ought to experience mild to severe pain along the path of the sciatic nerve. You could also experience muscle weakness in your leg, numbness in your leg, etc.

Although sciatic pain can be debilitating, in most cases, the issue can be resolved at our urgent care near you with non-operative treatments within a few weeks. But suppose there is a true injury to the nerves, and the pain is unbearable accompanied by significant leg weakness, bladder or bowel changes. In that case, you will have to come for immediate care in 77406 to receive treatment.

What Are the Causes?

Sciatica always arises when the sciatic nerve becomes inflamed, irritated, pinched, or compressed in the lower back. In most cases, sciatica will come about when you have a herniated disk or overgrowth of bone on your vertebrae that causes pressure on the nerve root.

But these are not the only causes of sciatica. You can also experience sciatic pain due to:

  • Degenerative disk disease – this is the natural wearing down of your disks between the vertebrae in your spine
  • Spinal stenosis – This is when there is an abnormal narrowing of your spinal canal, thus pinching the nerves
  • Osteoarthritis – Jagged edges of bone could form in aging spines resulting in compression of the nerves
  • Spondylolisthesis – This is a condition where one of your vertebrae has slipped out of line
  • Tumors in the spine
  • Injury or trauma to the sciatic nerve or lumbar spine

You should be on the lookout for the risk factors that can increase the chances of you developing sciatica, and some of them are:

  • Age – with age comes the natural wear
  • Obesity – when you are overweight, you will stress your spine
  • Occupation – Jobs that require twisting, carrying loads, or driving cars for a long period can increase your chances of developing sciatica
  • Diabetes – Since diabetes affects how your body utilizes sugar, it increases your risk of nerve damage
  • Prolonged sitting – being sedentary can make you more likely to develop sciatica

How Can You Tell Its Sciatica?

If you notice that you have pain that is radiating from your lower spine to your lower back and then down your leg, then it is highly likely that this is sciatica. You might feel discomfort pain from your lower back to your buttock and the back of your calf and thigh. The pain could range from a mild ache to a sharp or even a jolt of pain.

You can have tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness in the affected leg. Some may experience pins and needles in their legs, toes, or feet.


At times, sciatic pain might go away with self-care treatments such as applying ice, taking pain medication, and performing stretches. But if this doesn’t work, you might need to come to our urgent care in Richmond, TX, where you can receive any of the following treatments:

  • Prescribed medications, including anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, etc
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injections
  • Surgery – it only becomes an option when all the other treatments are ineffective, and there is significant leg or muscle weakness and loss of bladder control

If you think you have sciatic pain, don’t hesitate to come to Sunrise Urgent Care Center to receive treatment.

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