One of the most common symptoms of sciatica is pain on one side of the body that extends from the lower back into the buttock and down the back of the leg, states Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms associated with sciatica may include numbness, tingling sensations or weakness in the leg.
Sciatica pain is felt along the nerve pathway and may feel dull and achy or sharp and burning, according to Mayo Clinic. Some people with sciatica feel an electric shock sensation. Severe cases of sciatica require professional medical intervention, while mild sciatica may improve with time and be effectively treated at home with the use of anti-inflammatory medication. Other medications that may improve symptoms include narcotic pain relievers, muscle relaxants and anti-depressants. Physical therapy and steroid injections are also common treatments for sciatica. Surgery may be used to treat sciatica that worsens, causes weakness or incontinence.
Sciatica that occurs as a result of a trauma requires medical attention, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Other reasons to seek medical attention include sudden severe pain in the lower back or leg, weakness of the leg muscles, or issues with bowel or bladder control. People with sciatica should avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time, as this can worsen symptoms.