Know how to treat sciatic painĀ 

Sciatica is a fairly common type of pain that affects the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back down the back of each leg, according to WebMD. But sciatica isn't a medical diagnosis outright. It's actually a symptom of another underlying condition. 
Sciatica usually results from lower-back problems, according to Spine-Health, but there are other factors. It's important to understand the signs and symptoms of sciatica because it can lead to the proper diagnosis of what is really wrong.
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Causes of Sciatica
Sciatica occurs when the roots of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine get irritated. According to Spine-Health, lower-back problems that can cause sciatica include:
- Lumbar herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Isthmic spondylolisthesis
- Spinal stenosis 
 But some other common factors can contribute to the problem:
- Pregnancy
- Muscle spasm in your back or buttocks
- Being overweight
- Not exercising regularly
- Wearing high heals
- Sleeping on a mattress that is too soft
Symptoms
Sciatica isn't a condition itself; instead it usually stems from lower-back problems that can cause these symptoms:
- Lower-back pain
- Pain in your bottom or leg that gets worse when sitting
- Hip pain
- Burning or tingling down your leg
- Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving your leg or foot
- Constant pain on one side of your bottom
- Shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up
Commonly, sciatica only affects one side of the lower body. And often this pain extends from the lower back all the way down the back of the thigh and down the leg -- sometimes going as far as the foot or toes. 
For some people, sciatica is very debilitating, while others have symptoms infrequently. It's important to talk to your doctor if you recognize any of these symptoms, and if you have progressive lower extremity weakness, numbness in your upper thighs and/or loss of bladder or bowel control, you need to seek medical attention immediately
Treating Sciatica
Often, sciatica can be treated with self-care such as exercising more often, losing excess weight and (ladies) ditching those high heels. But if your pain doesn't improve with those changes, or your doctor suggests you take more serious measures, the Mayo Clinic says these treatments can help treat sciatica pain:
Medications: You may be prescribed medications such as:
- Anti-inflammatories
- Muscle relaxants
- Narcotics
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Antiseizure medications
Physical therapy: Rehabilitation programs are used to prevent future injuries and usually work to strengthen muscles, support your back, increase flexibility and even correct your posture. 
Steroid injections: A corticosteroid injected into the inflamed or irritated nerve may also improve your sciatica symptoms. But steroid injections usually wear off every few months, and the number you can get are limited because they have serious side effects when overused.
Surgery: This is the most extreme case, when the nerve is compressed so much it causes significant weakness, loss of bowel or bladder control or pain that doesn't improve with therapy. Sometimes you might even have a bone spur, or portion of a herniated disk that's pressing on the pinched nerve, removed as well. 
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Each person is different, so it's important to talk to your doctor about all of your symptoms to figure out the best way to treat your symptoms and possibly address a much more serious condition.
Resources WebMD, Mayo Clinic, and Spine Health
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