What are the symptoms of sciatica?

Sciatica is best known for the great amount of pain it causes to be felt in the back portion of either leg, or both. The exact location of pain is actually in the lateral and back portion of the leg, as well as in the lower part of the back and the buttocks; the exact location of pain in a case of sciatica (sciatic neuritis) is determined by what part of the sciatic nerve is inflamed or being pressed upon. A massive disc protrusion or even a spinal tumor can cause sciatica in both side of the low back, buttocks and both legs down to the toes. Lesser sciatica involvement can cause smaller areas of pain anywhere along the length of the nerve that runs down from the low back all the way to the great toe. A small and isolated area of sciatic nerve irritation can cause a small area of pain anywhere along the length of the nerve (just the ankle, just the area behind the knee, just the back of the thigh, etc.)

However, in addition to pain, it is possible to have the following symptoms in a case of sciatic neuritis:

  • numbness of part or all of the involved leg
  • weakness of part or all of the involved leg
  • inability to bear weight on the involved leg
  • trembling of the involved leg
  • inability to sleep