How Long Does Sciatica Last?

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When nerve pain starts to creep into your daily life, it’s time to find a solution. Sciatica is a common type of pain that runs along the sciatic nerve, causing weakness, numbness, and tingling. 

If you’re experiencing sciatica symptoms, you may be wondering how long they’ll last. In this article, we’ll explore how long you can expect sciatica to stick around, and when to seek out professional treatment.  

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica isn’t actually classified as a medical condition. It’s a symptom caused by an underlying condition, such as a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis. These spinal disorders can compress or damage the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back through the buttocks and down the back of each leg. 

With sciatica, you may experience the following symptoms along any part of the sciatic nerve:

  • A burning sensation
  • A dull ache
  • Radiating pain, often along one side of the sciatic nerve
  • Tingling
  • Weakness
  • Numbness 
  • Weak reflexes 

How Long Sciatica Lasts

The duration of sciatica symptoms can differ significantly from patient to patient. In most cases, sciatica lasts for four to six weeks before resolving on its own. Acute cases can resolve quite quickly, even within a week or two. 

However, in some cases, sciatica becomes a chronic issue. This can occur if it’s caused by a chronic spinal condition – most commonly, a herniated disc. The damaged disc can press on the sciatic nerve, and if it doesn’t heal on its own, it may require medical intervention to resolve sciatica symptoms. 

If sciatica doesn’t go away on its own, it may be time to visit a medical professional for a diagnosis. Addressing the underlying cause of your symptoms can help the sciatic nerve heal, leading to relief from pain and neurological symptoms. 

At Hernando Orthopaedic & Spinal Surgery, we diagnose and treat spinal conditions to help you return to a pain-free lifestyle. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!