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At the end of a long day, it’s nice to sit and just relax, right? Sciatica is a literal pain in the you-know-what. Sciatic nerve pain can cause standing to be super painful, and it can even hurt to sit!
You may even have pain to the point that you find yourself leaning over onto one side of your bum to keep pressure off the painful side.
It’s not exactly relaxing sitting at a tilted angle! In fact, you may even feel like you’re living through the final hour of the Titanic movie where everything starts tilting to the side more and more.
And you don’t even have Leonardo DiCaprio or Kate Winslet to comfort you!
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How do I know if I have Sciatica Pain?
Typically with Sciatica, you’ll feel pain on one side of your back that radiates to your glutes or even down your entire leg.
You might always feel on the same side, or, you may notice your sciatic pain can sometimes switch to the other side.
So, you’re not crazy if you feel like your pain is changing.
We compensate when we’re in pain so it’s very common to shift all your weight to the non-painful side when you have sciatica.
That weight shift leads to pain relief on one side; however, it also causes more pressure on the non-painful side.
This means that the non-painful side can start to feel pain due to that compensation pattern. BAM sciatica is now on the other side.
Typically, however, sciatica doesn’t happen on both sides at the same time.
If you feel pain in both legs and start to notice that you’re tripping more or having bowel or bladder changes reach out to your primary care physician because this could be myopathy which is more serious and should be addressed immediately.
So, what is sciatica pain?
Sciatica pain doesn’t have a very clever name: it’s simply named after your sciatic nerve.
Your sciatic nerve is a honking big nerve that runs from your lower back down the back of your leg.
When you have sciatic nerve pain you can feel pain anywhere along the path of the sciatic nerve.
This means that you could have pain concentrated on one side of your low back, pain that radiates into your glute, or even pain that radiates all along your leg and even into your foot.
Basically, sciatica is any pain along the sciatic nerve.
What causes Sciatic nerve pain?
Typically, the sciatic nerve is cranky because it’s being pinched, and no one likes that!
Remember, the sciatic nerve is a big and long nerve, so there are many ways for it to get pinched and sciatica pain is common.
Pinching could start from the very top where the nerve leaves the spinal cord.
This means a bone spur, scoliosis, stenosis, herniated disk, or general degeneration of the spine may be the cause right from the very top.
The nerve could also be pinched by tight muscles further along its path, especially in your hips and glutes.
It’s shockingly common to have not only have weakness but also tightness in your glutes because of common daily activities and increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
Ok, maybe not as shocking as hitting an iceberg with the Titanic, but weakness and tightness can also sink the proverbial ship when it comes to sciatica pain.
What can I do about Sciatic Pain?
Check out Best Exercises & Home Treatment for Sciatica Nerve Pain to learn ways to help with your sciatic pain.
No matter where the sciatic nerve is being pinched, these can help support the nerve and make it much happier.
And is a lot more supportive than Kate Winslet at the end of Titanic because we all know the Leonardo DiCaprio could have also fit on that door… but that’s a discussion for another day.