Symptoms of sciatica
Sciatic pain can range from being mild to very painful and may last just a few days or for months. If it lasts for more than six weeks, it is considered to be persistent (chronic) sciatica.
Sciatica is different to general back pain. The pain of sciatica hardly affects the back at all but radiates out from the lower back, down the buttocks and into one or both of the legs, right down to the calf.
The pain often gets worse over time and may also be made worse by sneezing, coughing or laughing (impulse pain), standing or sitting for a long period of time and/or bending backwards.
If you have sciatica, you may also experience the following symptoms around your legs and feet – numbness, tingling, muscle weakness or loss of tendon reflexes.
Seek immediate medical help by calling or an ambulance if you experience numbness in your bottom, lower back and leg, loss of bladder and/or bowel control or feeling of weakness in your leg and foot.