The sciatic nerve is basically a big nerve that starts from the inferior spinal cord and runs down the rear part of the leg and into the sole of the foot. It is important to note that this nerve is responsible for transmitting sensory information from these areas to the spinal cord which then transmits the information to the brain. Take note that the sciatic nerve can end up damaged by the constriction of the spinal column, muscle tightness, injury to the pelvis or compression due to an intervertebral disk rupture. It is important that you are familiar with the indications of sciatic nerve compression or sciatica so that appropriate first aid measures and treatment can be given as soon as possible.
Pain in the leg
Once leg in the pain manifests, it is one of the common indications that the sciatic nerve is compressed. The pain is likely to manifest at the lower back up to the buttocks and down to the rear part of the leg and into the calf muscle. The pain manifests since the sciatic nerve that is compressed transmits signals to the spinal cord once it is compressed. Take note that the pain can be sore, burning, sharp or excruciating. In most cases, the pain is similar to an electric shock and worsens if the individual sneezes or coughs. There are exercises that the individual can perform in order to prevent sciatic nerve pain as well as avoid extended periods of sitting.
Tingling sensation and numbness
It is important to note that tingling sensation and numbness are the common symptoms linked with the compression of the sciatic nerve. These symptoms tend to occur along the distribution of the sciatic nerve but they might not occur at the same time. In some individuals, they can experience numbness in the lower back but there is also tingling in the rear part of the lower leg as well. This occurs since the sciatic nerve that is compressed are sending mixed up signals of tingling and numbness to the spinal cord which then transmit these signals to the brain.
Loss of bowel or bladder control
If the individual has loss of bladder or bowel control, it is a serious indication of spinal nerve compression and this requires immediate medical attention. These symptoms along with numbness, tingling sensation and pain along the sciatic nerve can be diagnosed as cauda equina syndrome. This condition is initiated by the herniation of the disk that compresses the spinal nerves in the lower back including the sciatic nerve. Even though this is a serious health issue, it is initially treated with rest and administration of medications for the relief of the symptoms. In severe cases, surgery might be required.
If any of these symptoms occur, there is likelihood that the sciatic nerve is compressed. It is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible for proper diagnosis.