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Is sciatica serious?

Sciatica is usually not a symptom of a serious problem. In most cases, it will go away by itself within a couple months. In some cases, however, complications like permanent nerve damage can occur. Signs that your sciatica is serious and requires medical attentions include a sudden development of intense pain in one of your legs or lower back and weakness or numbness in one of your legs. Another sign of a serious problem is losing control of bladder or bowel function. Call your doctor if you have urination problems, pain that is worse when you lie down or that wakes you up; redness or swelling on the spine; unexplained fever; unexplained weight loss; or back pain lasting longer than four weeks.

Continue Learning about Sciatica

Can sciatica caused by spine problems reoccur multiple times?
Brian YeeBrian Yee
Yes. The thing that most people do not consider is that nerve tissue is just as much a connective ti...
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What is sciatica?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Sciatica refers to the pain and other symptoms that result from a sciatic nerve problem. Your sciati...
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Will bed rest help my sciatica?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
After you first notice your sciatica, one or two days of bed rest may provide some pain relief. Afte...
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What is a sciatic nerve?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
You have a sciatic nerve on each side of your body. They are the longest and widest nerves in your b...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.