Sciatica may cause some people to have problems controlling their bowels or bladder, according to Mayo Clinic. If bowel or bladder leakage occurs, it is important to seek medical assistance immediately.
Mild sciatica usually goes away naturally over time, notes Mayo Clinic. If the pain or symptoms last for more than one week or become increasingly severe, it may be necessary to speak to a physician. Other symptoms that require medical attention include muscle weakness or numbness in the leg, or sudden severe pain in the leg or lower back. Contact a health care professional if pain occurs immediately after physical trauma.
The most common symptom that occurs with sciatica is pain that spreads from the lower spine through the buttocks and down the leg, states Mayo Clinic. The pain usually travels down the thigh and calf, although it may be felt anywhere along the nerve pathway. The severity of the pain ranges from mild to extremely painful, and it may feel like getting shocked or jolted by electricity. Sitting for an extensive amount of time may exacerbate the symptoms, and coughing or sneezing can aggravate sciatica. Some people with sciatica may experience tingling, numbness or weakness, and the symptoms may vary in each leg.