You wake up with a tingling pain down your leg. You think nothing of it, and carry on with your day. You have a similar pain later on after sitting for a length of time, like when you get up from your desk. There may be a feeling off numbness, or that strange pins and needles sensation along your leg or in your foot. Sharp pains may appear out of now along the same leg. What is going on? You may be experiencing the symptoms of sciatica.

There are many symptoms that may indicate you are suffering from sciatica. While sciatic pain itself is not a medical disorder in and of itself, the term is used to describe a group of symptoms that arise from several different medical conditions, although the symptoms are all reliably similar.

What are these symptoms? Although there are varying causes of sciatica, the symptoms are usually quite similar. They usually occur in one leg only (the leg with the affected sciatic nerve) and can include several manifestations of pain or weakness. You may experience tingling or that “pins and needles” sensation in any part of your leg, including your buttock, thigh, calf or foot. An area may also feel numb, or lose feeling in a part of the leg. You may feel more of a perception of burning or a dull ache in any of these areas. The pain can often be sharp, or intense, and actually cause immobility in the affected limb for a time. There may even be several sensations felt at one time, like numbness in your hip while experiencing a sharp pain in your calf or foot. If these symptoms show up at some point, it may be time to go and see your general practitioner, as they are a symptom of a medical condition that may need attention.

Often, sciatica will go away on it's own, in about 6 weeks. However, if you are experiencing these symptoms for longer than that, another visit to your doctor is in order. In a lot of instances, after the initial diagnosis, the symptoms will usually dissipate on their own, usually without any special treatments beyond some mild painkillers and heat and / or ice. There are cases, however, where you may need blood tests, x-rays, or other imaging tests to determine the cause of your symptoms, and the condition may need to be treated with other remedies.