Sciatica leg pain is the most common symptomatic expression of any lower body radiculopathy syndrome. While not every sciatica patient has back pain, every one has some type of pain, tingling, weakness or numbness in at least one area of their buttocks, legs or feet.
This article describes the multiple expressions of sciatica in the legs. We will discuss the numerous possible locations for symptoms to exist and some of the possible causative processes which may create the misery.
Sciatica leg symptoms are almost universally blamed on some lumbar spinal abnormality. The theory is that some condition, such as a herniated disc or osteoarthritic process, is compressing a spinal nerve root, sending pain into the bodily area served by that neurological structure. While this certainly can occur and does in some instances, these conditions are grossly over diagnosed. In fact, many chronic back, neck and sciatica pain patients have been misdiagnosed.
Most of the mild to moderate degenerative changes in the lumbar spine are completely harmless, normal and expected parts of the aging process. Additionally, most known physical injuries will heal, either on their own or with appropriate medical treatment. Typical injury and degeneration are not normally the actual sources of any unresponsive dorsalgia syndrome.
The vast majority of patients complain of radiating pain and neurological effects in the rear or outer sides of their legs. Most feel that their actual leg symptoms originate below the buttocks, in the center of the upper thigh and descend downwards to eventually cut across the outer side of the calf muscle. However, this is far from a rule. Other patients have frontal thigh pain and some have inner ankle pain.
Leg pain can be dull or sharp, acute or chronic, widespread or localized. Some patients experience a regular pattern of pain and related symptoms, while other patients must suffer with pain which changes constantly.
Statistics show that most sciatica is unilateral, affecting one leg only. A minority have bilateral symptoms in both legs. The source process will factor greatly into the actual symptoms suffered, in terms of location, duration and severity.
Enduring the limitations and suffering of leg pain can be a real hardship for any affected individual. If there is lower back pain present as well, the situation is even more grave. Lower back and leg pain is a debilitating condition which prevents a person from working, playing or enjoying a full life. Some unfortunate patients are relegated to bed, since their pain has literally disabled them.
Sciatica has a well deserved reputation as a disorder which laughs in the face of medical treatment. The majority of chronic pain sufferers have tried numerous medical and complementary treatment modalities without success.
The common misconception about why sciatica is so difficult to cure is that there is some situation in the spine which has caused permanent damage. Something is injured, degenerated, collapsed, herniated, prolapsed or simply all messed up. The reality is usually the complete opposite. Sure, there are changes which occur in your spine, and mine, due to injury and degeneration. However, these changes are usually normal. They are mostly not inherently painful, but have been targeted as scapegoats on which long lasting back pain is typically blamed.
Learn the facts about spinal injury and degeneration before entering treatment for any sciatic nerve pain condition. Most of all, learn the facts about sciatica. You will see that the one and only reason that most sciatica pain syndromes are so treatment resistant is because they are commonly misdiagnosed.
Remember, a sciatica treatment directed at a mistaken causation has no hope at all of being effective. Discover the real reason for the pain and the cure will be easily enacted.