It is rare for sciatica to lead to a medical emergency, but there are times when the symptoms may lead to a serious injury. Immediate medical care should be performed when these sciatic symptoms are observed:
If a person has lost his ability to control his bowel or bladder movement, its best to have it checked. Aside from bowel or bladder incontinence, medical care must be performed if there is any progressive weakness or loss of leg sensation. All of these symptoms may indicate that the patient have cauda equina syndrome. This type of condition happens when the nerve sac in the lower spine is compressed significantly. Cauda equina syndrome is a serious case that requires immediate medical attention.
If a patient feels any kind of leg weakness or numbness, it is crucial for him to get medical attention. Leg weakness or numbness may be caused by a damaged nerve. Surgery may be prescribed by the health care professional especially if the symptoms, such as pain, are becoming more severe. Most of the time, sciatica is simply caused by nerve irritation. Sciatica symptoms should get better with time and non-surgical care that includes exercise, over-the-counter medications, or ice/heat application. Surgery may be prescribed if symptoms do not improve after these non-surgical care.
It is important for a patient to consult a health care professional before following any type of medical procedures or medication. Even if sciatica-related emergencies are rare, utmost care should still be observed at all times.