How Long Will My Sciatica Symptoms Last?

Have you experienced a prickly sensation down your lower back and leg? Do you often feel pain or numbness down your leg and have no idea what the root cause is? These feelings could indicate you suffer from sciatica, which is not really a medical problem so much as a grouping of symptoms related to pressure on the sciatic nerve that could indicate an actual medical problem.

If you have, or suspect you have may have sciatica it is important to schedule an appointment immediately to confirm the diagnosis and begin treatment.

Sciatica Symptoms

How do you know if that tingling sensation is sciatica or something else? It can be difficult but the most identifiable aspect is where you feel the symptoms. The sciatic nerve is one of the largest in the human body, travelling down the lower back through the leg. You may experience pain in this region ranging from tingling, a dull ache to an intense pain that hinders mobility.

Generally sciatic pain only appears on one side of the body, but in rare cases it can occur on both sides simultaneously. The pain may occur in the hip, foot, calf, lower back or thigh, and often it spreads up or down. Movement may cause the pain to worsen, particularly strenuous physical activity.

If you experience any of these symptoms it is important to get treatment for sciatica right away.

Confirm Sciatica

There are many tests and procedures to determine if one is suffering from pressure on the sciatic nerve. Although some physicians may base their diagnosis on your symptoms, many will require a series of tests to be certain. However if you have recently suffered a trauma or injury, this may also be the cause of the damage to the sciatic nerve.

The physician may require a battery of basic tests—x-rays, MRIs and blood tests—to determine if you have an infection that may be causing the pain. Infections like meningitis, cancer, kidney stone or even a urinary tract infection can lead to sciatic pain. If you’ve experienced the pain for a period of time the doctor may require you to undergo a neuromuscular exam to ensure your reflex responses are normal.

Long term sciatica can cause abnormal reflexes to muscular stimulation, especially in the area affected.

Treatment For Sciatica

Some of these tests will confirm that you have sciatica while others will seek to determine the cause of your sciatica. There are a variety of conditions that can compress the sciatic nerve and finding those will help your physician formulate an appropriate treatment plan.

Treatment for sciatica can vary widely from patient to patient because the conditions that cause sciatica can vary just as much. How long you suffer from sciatica will also vary based on how long you had symptoms before seeking medical attention, what remedies you undertook on your own and what physical steps you’ve taken to relieve pain.

There is really no set timetable for sciatica, but we do know that you can reduce your suffering time by using quick pain relief solutions such as hot and cold compresses, over the counter painkillers and physical therapy. Your physician may offer injections to reduce inflammation to the affected area and your physical therapist may advise you to use the fetal pose to relief pain and tension.

These are just a few ways to treat sciatica quickly for a faster healing time.

No physician can tell you exactly how long sciatica will last, but fast diagnosis and treatment is a surefire way to reduce your treatment time. If however you have ignored the symptoms for a long time and relied on basic pain medications to keep you going, the chances are good that you can experience long-term damage which can cause loss of movement, limited mobility and numbness and tingling sensations.

Filed Under: Sciatica
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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7 thoughts on “How Long Will My Sciatica Symptoms Last?”

  1. monica says:

    My husband is suffering from this, he has been to the doctor for it but they have not ran any test just went on what info he (husband) has gave them. What my? is, can sciatica affect the ankle bone as well? My husband says thats what hurts him most beside his buttocks.

    1. brian matchett says:

      My case is similar to your husbands Monica,my pain is coming from my buttocks but most of it is down the lower left leg and ankle it feels like I have chipped a bone there.I have it now for 6 weeks but I feel it starting to ease.I went to a sports physo and he said it was not coming from my back but from my muscles in my buttock,he worked for an hour trying to release the muscles there which I can tell you was not pleasant! then give me exercises to do.Brian.

  2. Steve says:

    Monica, The sensation he feels down the leg is know as Sciatica, and it can start in the hips and go all the way into the toes, that said, its not really described as pain that goes into the bond but can very well effect the way the ankle feels.

    I highly suggest that you get your self a copy of Jesse’s book (The 7 Day Back Pain Cure) as it will help you understand what is why the condition developed, why he feels what he feels and simple steps to address and correct the root reason why he hurts


  3. Suzie says:

    My pain started 10 days ago. I stretched following you tube videos for the first three days and applying ice. I had so much pain I went to the ER. They gave me a high dose of steroids through an IV and pills (helps inflammation) to take at home with nortriptyline, I was able to start moving more. I started applying a heat pad to the buttock and icy hot to my leg which controlled all the pain. I saw my doctor on day 9 and he gave me a cortisone shot on my butt to control the sharp stabbing pain in my buttock area. Today is day 12 and i I feel 90% better. I now have to go back and get an MRI, my doctor wants to make sure it’s only a flare up and not spine disc herniation. This pain was the worst but I read this God has a plan for your life, and He wants to heal you everywhere you hurt. John 10:10 says that Jesus came to give us abundant life, and part of that abundant life is making sure you are healthy and whole—physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.

  4. Admin says:

    Hi Suzie,

    You may find it useful to get a copy of our back pain book The 7 Day Back Pain Cure. It has a lot of information regarding the back, treatment options and pain relief for you to consider. We hope you find it helpful.

    Thank you
    (The Healthy Back Institute)

  5. Dianne Payne says:

    My pain is very intense I can’t sit lie in bed or stand without pain.

    Any comments would be appreciated

  6. Steve HBI-Staff says:


    I would like to send you a special report on how you can get fast relief from sciatica, please click on this link to learn more,


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