What Are the Symptoms of Sciatica in the Upper Thigh and Leg Region?


Quick Answer

Common symptoms of sciatica include burning, tingling or shooting pain in the leg or rear, according to WebMD. One may also feel numbness or experience difficulty moving the leg or standing up.

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Full Answer

Sciatica is a type of pain that typically affects one side of the lower body, extending from the lower back down through the leg, explains WebMD. The pain is triggered by an irritation to the lower spine and the sciatic nerve and may extend as far as the feet and toes. It can be debilitating as well as extremely painful. In some cases, the pain may come and go but worsen over time, causing weakness in the lower extremity, loss of bladder control and numbness in the thighs and leg.

A common cause of sciatica is lumbar spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal that creates pressure on the spinal chord and nerves, according to WebMD. It may also be caused by deterioration of the disks that cushion the vertebrae or by spondylolisthesis, in which a vertebra slips out of position.

Sciatica doesn't typically cause permanent nerve damage and generally gets better over time, reports WebMD. Treatments may include ibuprofen and oral steroids to reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy helps with prevention of further episodes, while surgery may be necessary in severe cases.

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