What Is Sciatica?

If you have changes in your posture, muscle strength or pelvic alignment, the sciatic nerve can become compressed, leading to common low back and radiating leg pain.

Common facts about sciatica

  • The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in your body
  • It can be irritated anywhere along its path down your leg
  • Pain is felt in the base of your spine, buttocks, thigh, or leg
  • Sciatic pain can vary from infrequent, to constant
  • Symptoms are based on the location of the pinched nerve

Common symptoms of sciatica

  • Constant pain in only one side of your buttock, low back, or leg (rarely in both your legs)
  • You have pain that is worse when sitting
  • You have leg pain that is often described as burning, tingling, or searing (versus a dull ache)
  • You notice weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving your leg, foot, and/or toes
  • You feel a sharp pain when standing up, or walking
  • You have pain that radiates down the leg and possibly into the foot and toes (it rarely occurs only in the foot

*Studies show that trying physiotherapy first achieves better results, and reduces medical costs.

Simple Exercise for Sciatica Relief

Person sits on chair doing Seated Piriformis Stretch

Seated Piriformis Stretch


Sit in a chair with good posture.

Cross the ankle of the leg you want to stretch overtop of your opposite knee. Lean your trunk slowly forwards until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, do 3 each side.

It would help if you always tried physical therapy with a Registered Physiotherapist before trying other aggressive medical procedures for your sciatica or back pain. In the rare instance that more invasive procedures are required, physiotherapy is an important part of your recovery and helps you return to work, play and living a pain-free life.

Don’t hesitate to ask any questions. We can help you alleviate your lower back and leg pain for good. Call us today at our physio treatment centres in Bowmanville, OshawaCobourgPeterborough, and Port Hope. You could also book online.

This article is part of our free back pain relief manual; You can download it by clicking here.


Dave Evans

Owner / Registered Physiotherapist

About the Author

This article was written by We-Fix-U’s Owner and experienced Registered chiropractor in Oshawa. He has taken a special interest in treating back injuries since his own back surgery and rehab experience.  His highlights have been working as a Physio alongside the athletes from the 2000 Olympics. Dave is always willing to help when needed.

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