Sciatica Pain: Understanding the Symptoms

Classically, sciatica is characterised by back pain radiating to leg but this may occur due to many causes such a muscle weakness or any overuse injury. Sometimes, sciatica may manifest symptoms that are other than pain. Therefore, before starting any treatment program it is necessary to rule out whether it is sciatica or any other problem. Here are some common signs and symptoms that can help you differentiate sciatica from other diseases.

Sharp, shock-like pain

Most of the people with sciatica describe their pain as sharp, burning and shock-like. The pain is usually continuous and is only relieved after some intervention like hot pack, rest, or pain killers. It is necessary to know the type of pain as it affects the diagnosis of the disease as sciatica is often confused with mere muscle tightness.

Pain in lower limb                                           

Sciatic pain usually radiates to posterior part of the thigh, back of the knee and calf area. It also cases pain in some part of the heel. Sciatic nerve passes from these areas of lower limb causing pain. Pain in other parts of leg can be due to other nerves.

Pin prick sensation

Many a time, pin prick sensation or paraesthesia can be felt in foot depending on the amount of nerve damage or location of nerve impingement. This may also indicate some other serious problem such as a space occupying lesion in the spine. Therefore, a physician should be consulted in such case.

Weakness in lower limbs

Pain and poor nerve function ultimately leads to weakness in muscles and if left untreated it may cause muscle atrophy. Pain is surely high in intensity but immobility will only deteriorate the condition. Therefore a doctor or physiotherapist should be regularly consulted to avoid worsening of pain.


Numbness is not very common in sciatica but can be sometimes seen with patients who have sciatica associated with back and leg muscle tightness. Patients often complain of waking up with numbness in foot and calf. Regular stretching can help overcome such problem.

Many other major and minor ailments can mimic sciatica. Therefore it is recommended to consult an expert who can help you rule out if you have disease other than sciatica.

About Bansal Global Hospital

A world class private hospital located in North-West Delhi, the Bansal Global Hospital offers the best treatment possible and care to its patients round the clock (24×7). The multi-specialty Bansal Global Hospital provides specialist medical and surgical care ranging from simple day-case procedures to complex surgeries, blood and other tests in our state of the art pathology lab, digital X-rays, inpatient facilities. The hospital has dedicated inpatient facility, with all fully air-conditioned ensuite rooms. Our staff offer high quality services to ensure that your stay with us is as comfortable as possible in private and discrete facilities.

Bansal Global Hospital C-10 Ramgarh, Near Jahangirpuri Metro Station, Delhi, 110033
Bansal Fracture, Gynae and Kids Clinic, E-1086 Saraswati Vihar, Pitampura, Delhi 110034
Neo Kidz Clinic, C-38 Raj Nagar, Pitampura, Delhi 110034

Tel: 011-27636400
Dr Suresh Bansal – Specialist Orthopedic Surgeon
Dr Bimla Bansal – Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Dr Neha Bansal – Child Specialist

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