Do you suffer from sciatica symptoms? Or are you looking for helpful information to share with your friends and family? Either way, our four question quiz can help get anyone up to speed on the basics of sciatica.
True or False: Everyone experiences similar sciatica symptoms.
You may experience sciatica symptoms in your lower back, thigh, calf, foot, or toes. Additionally, some people report searing sciatic pain, while others experience tingling, burning, or numbness. In part, the type of sensation you experience, along with the location of that sensation, is dependent on where your sciatic nerve root is compressed.
The intensity and duration of sciatica symptoms also varies from person-to-person. Some people find their symptoms to be a pesky annoyance—while others experience long-term debilitating symptoms.
Which of the following sciatica symptoms require immediate medical attention?
- Bowel and/or bladder incontinence
- Progressive weakness and/or loss of sensation in one or both of your legs
- Symptoms that occur in both of your legs
- Symptoms that occur following an accident or trauma
- Symptoms that occur in tandem with a fever or loss of appetite
Answer: All of the above
In the vast majority of cases, sciatica symptoms resolve within six weeks and can be treated with nonsurgical measures like cold and/or heat therapy. However, if you experience any of the above symptoms don’t wait 6 weeks—make sure to seek out immediate medical attention.
True or False: Sciatica is a medical diagnosis.
Sciatica is not a medical diagnosis, but rather a symptom of an underlying medical condition. The term sciatica refers to pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness that starts in your lower back and travels along the sciatic nerve located in your leg. Sciatica symptoms arise when one or more of your sciatic nerve roots is pinched or irritated.
Common causes of sciatica include:
See Sciatica Causes
True or False: Rest is typically better than exercise for sciatic pain relief.
When your sciatica symptoms flare-up, you might think that avoiding physical activity is the best way to relieve your pain. This may be the right course of action for 24 to 48 hours, but too much rest can actually make your symptoms worse.
In consultation with your doctor, it’s a good idea to come up with an exercise program that includes stretching, strengthening, and low-impact aerobic exercise to combat your sciatica. The long-term adoption of such a routine may also help you avoid future flare-ups.
How was your score? Regardless of how many questions you got right, we hope that our quiz will help you better communicate with your doctor and loved ones about your sciatica symptoms.