Low back pain or sciatica: How to differentiate?

They tend to be confused, but although sharing the back as part of the body that affect, both ailments have distinctive features and, therefore, require different treatments. We are faced with two very common ailments, 8 out of ten people will suffer from some back pain at some point in their lives. Lower back pain?, Sciatica? Let’s know the causes, symptoms and how to learn to differentiate.

low backpain

Back pain and sciatica are two of the most common ailments of the back. Ailments that, although they can manifest with similar symptoms, have proper characteristics and therefore they need a different treatment. The low back pain is located in the lower back, while sciatica extends up the leg, so it can be more annoying and, above all, more disabling because the pain usually comes accompanied by loss of strength and numbness of the leg.

Causes: Differences

Among the causes of low back pain include trauma, contractures or osteoarthritis. There are also other factors that may cause their appearance, such as excess weight, associated in most cases with unhealthy habits. Meanwhile, sciatica occurs when affected nerve roots exiting the lumbar spine. A contracture, infection, or a herniated disc compressing the nerve ganglion can cause sciatica. The osteoporosis and osteoarthritis can also be a trigger.

Another difference is found in the appearance of age. While back pain can occur at any age, sciatica is usually more common after 45 age.


The symptoms of low back pain referred with the rest. If symptoms persist for several days without the pain subsides, you should consult your doctor again. If low back pain continues its progression, three days we can get up and begin to make those activities that require less effort.

Although rest is also good for sciatica, in this case, it is better to sit than lying. Sciatica is a health problem that should be monitored especially in the case of postmenopausal age women with increased risk of osteoporosis.

In addition to rest, to alleviate back pain is also good to apply heat to the affected area and take a painkiller and relaxing muscle. In the case of sciatica may be necessary also to inflammatory injections. If you suffer from sciatica, we must speed up the recovery, as our back will be more vulnerable to relapse.

Prevent both pain is also in our hands, and we must not forget that the back is a very important part of our body and therefore require care. Other simple tips we can implement, as maintaining proper posture while performing daily activities, especially when sitting or working long hours in front of a computer. We must avoid bending the back when lifting heavy objects, overdo the weight we can lift, always warm up before exercise and avoid excessive bending from the waist.

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