Fellow blogger huncamunca has asked me to write a post on sciatica, I hope the following will help her to understand this very uncomfortable problem.
According to the NHS website sciatica is different to general back pain; the pain of sciatica hardly affects the back at all but radiates out from the lower back, down the buttocks and into one or both of the legs, right down to the calf.
For some people the pain can be severe and debilitating but for others it might just be mild and irritating. It can last for weeks or months and usually only affects one side of the lower body.
Depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected, the pain may also radiate down the leg causing foot pain and toe pain.
Treatment for acute sciatica can be over the counter painkillers or stronger ones from your GP. It is important with sciatica that you try to remain as physically active as possible with just short bed rests when it is essential.
Other treatments are hot or cold compression packs to help reduce the pain. If the pain becomes chronic then your GP may suggest a combination of self help techniques as well as medical treatments, for instance corticosteroid injections or physiotherapy and Cognitive behavioural therapy. Surgery would be a last resort.
There are a number of sciatica support groups which can be very helpful as you can chat to other people who are suffering from this problem.
There are also a number of tools that you can buy to help with the pain of sciatica from a sacrowedgy to sit on to support braces.
However, your first port of call if it does not settle down after a few days would be your GP for further investigation.