“My sciatica is acting up again.”
Stick around in trucking long enough and you’ll probably hear this statement — either from another trucker or coming out of you own mouth. That’s because driving for long periods of time, carrying heavy loads, or having a job that requires you to twist your back are all suspected risk factors that contribute to sciatica. Additionally, growing older, obesity, and diabetes can all increase your risk of developing this condition.
Sciatica is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. The hallmark symptom is pain in the back of the leg and lower back, but there other symptoms that can point to sciatica.
Important Sciatica Symptoms To Know
If you’ve been experiencing lower back or leg pain, here are some sciatica symptoms you should know.
- You feel weakness in your leg along with pain. When the sciatic nerve is pinched, it disrupts the functioning of your leg and can cause weakness.
- Your pain is just in one leg. In most cases, you’ll only feel sciatica pain in a single leg.
- Your foot gets caught on the ground when you walk because of numbness. Again, a compromised sciatic nerve can keep your leg and foot from functioning properly.
- Your pain gets worse after coughing, sneezing, or laughing.
- You find that you’re in more pain at night.
- You are having difficulty controlling your bowels or bladder. Fortunately, this symptom isn’t common, but if you do experience it, seek medical treatment immediately because you may need surgical intervention to prevent your nerve damage from becoming permanent.
Luckily, sciatica goes away on its own about 80% of the time within 90 days. Try over-the-counter pain medications to keep the pain at bay and see a doctor if your condition worsens. Cold packs and exercise can also help.
You can also try this gentle stretching routine to help fight sciatica pain.