What is bilateral sciatica? – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Sciatica in itself is the name given to the set of symptoms experienced by someone when their sciatic nerve is pinched.

The nerve branches out of a human’s lumbar spine and down the back of both legs. Sciatica may affect one or both of these nerve branches, and when it affects both branches it is referred to as bilateral sciatica.

Although cases of bilateral sciatica are rare, they still affect a small percentage of the population.

Causes

As previously stated, sciatica itself occurs when one of the spinal nerve roots is being compressed. Below are some of the reasons why this nerve becomes compressed:

  • A herniated disc – herniated discs can compress the sciatic nerve and lead to sciatica pain;
  • Degenerative disc disease;
  • Spinal stenosis – the spinal canal (through which nerves pass) becomes narrower; this can put pressure on the sciatic nerve; then the nerve is compressed, which lead to sciatica;
  • Piriformis syndrome – the piriformis muscle, which is located in the buttocks area, compresses the sciatic nerve;
  • Cauda equina syndrome – a medical condition where cauda equina, a group of nerves situated in the lower part of the spinal cord have been compressed; sciatic nerve pain can be a symptom of this syndrome;
  • Other causes such as a muscle spasm, nerve damage, bone spurs, or pregnancy may also trigger it.
Visual representation of both sciatic nerve branches

Symptoms

The main characteristic symptoms of sciatica are pain, weakness or numbness in your lower back and the back of your leg. Sometimes these symptoms can extend to your feet or even toes. Below you can find a more in-depth list of (bilateral) sciatica symptoms:

  1. Continuous pain in one side of the lower body (buttock, leg, thigh, calf). In bilateral sciatica both sides of the lower body are affected.
  2. The pain originates in the lower back and radiates down along the entire length of the sciatic nerve all the way to the foot
  3. Pain that is usually very intense, and might even make it difficult to walk or even stand up
  4. A sensation that can be described as prickling or tingling that runs down the leg
  5. Numbness when trying to move the leg or foot
  6. The pain may be felt in a person’s toes as well
  7. Lower back pain, although rare, might be milder in intensity that the pain felt along the leg(s)
  8. In more severe cases, this condition can affect a person’s ability to control their bladder.

Diagnosis and Treatment

In order to correctly pinpoint the cause of your pain, it is important to seek medical advice and obtain a diagnosis. This includes a physical examination, taking a history, and in some cases performing further tests, such as an MRI scan, to either confirm your condition, or to rule out other possible causes of your pain.

When it comes to treatment options, seeking long term pain relief should be the goal in treating sciatica.

The treatment of sciatica depends on the severity of your symptoms, and below you can find some typical treatment options for this spinal issues:

  • Medication – which can offer temporary relief from pain
  • Physical therapy – to help re-mobilise the spine
  • Specific injections (such as muscle relaxants and steroid injections) that target the sciatic nerve – just like with medication, these also provide only temporary relief
  • For very extreme cases, and as last resort, surgery is considered as an option

If none of these treatment options sound appealing to you, check out our solution below.

Backrack Spinal Decompression for Complete Relief from Sciatica Pain

The Spinal Backrack is an orthopaedic device that decompresses your spine and targets back pain caused by sciatica through exercises that are easy to do at home and use your own body weight. Given its design, it targets the entire length of the spine, ensuring that any pain point along the back is relieved. It is 100% natural, comfortable, and free of side-effects and it provides long-term pain relief and prevention. Thousands of people have already seen its benefits, so why not be one of them?

Why consider spinal decompression therapy for pain relief from sciatica, including bilateral sciatica

One of the main reasons why the sciatic nerve starts to cause pain is because it becomes pinched, or better said it gets compressed by other spinal structures. When this process is reversed through decompression therapy, sufficient space is created for the nerve, meaning there are no more structures impinging into the space of the sciatic nerve. As a result, the nerve is no longer triggered, and pain stops occurring.

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