Published on June 26, 2014
“Sciatica” type pain is often a term used to describe back pain with radiation down the leg. It is a symptom used to describe this type of pain but does not specify the root cause of the injury. However, one of the most common causes of sciatica can be from a disc herniation, causing an inflammatory process, which puts pressure on the nerve root running alongside the vertebrae.
It is extremely important that if you are experiencing low back pain that is radiating down the leg to seek medical attention in order to diagnose the root cause of the injury. It is a medical emergency if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms with your low back pain and you should go to the hospital and get an MRI if you have any of the following:
- Any form of bowel or bladder problems- problems starting or stopping urination
- Numbness and/or tingling around your groin area or any lack of sensation in the genital area (aka Saddle Parasthesia)
- Pain that wakes you up at night
- Unexplained weight loss
- Progressive muscle weakness or foot drop
If none of these symptoms are present and the pain just radiates down your leg, it is important to pay close attention to any progressive weakness of your leg or foot. If you cannot see your medical doctor immediately, a registered chiropractor and/or physiotherapist will be able to help screen for these conditions and determine the appropriate course of treatment that you need.
It is important to take your health into your own hands, advocate and clearly communicate your symptoms to the practitioner you are seeing to help establish an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.