Sciatica Series: 11. #1 Sign Your Sciatica is Getting Better or Getting Worse and What to Look For

An important point to note is generally the more the sciatica nerve is irritated, the further down the leg the symptoms of pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and/or burning occur. The reverse is also true. As the nerve becomes less irritated, the symptoms generally improve in an ascending fashion. This translates to less pain, numbness, tingling, weakness and/or burning in the foot or lower leg. This can help you gauge whether your self-treatments are helping.


Watch the video accompanying this handout. In the video we use tape to indicate the normal patterns of sciatica and how it can improve. Watch this video before performing any sciatica exercises.


We have used tape in the photos to demonstrate the preferred progression of your pain. In photo A the pain/numbness/tingling is in full force travelling down the entire leg and possibly into the foot. In photo B the pain/numbness/tingling has begun to centralize- first leaving the foot and calf, then the back of the thigh. In photo C the pain has centralized to the low back. In photo D the pain is gone.


Check out the full Sciatica series of videos along with downloadable guide sheets for each video on our website.


DISCLAIMER We insist that you see a physician before starting this video series. Furthermore, this video series is not designed to replace the treatment of a professional: physician, osteopath, physical therapist, orthopedic surgeon, or chiropractor. It may however serve as an adjunct. Do not go against the advice of your health care professional. When under the care of a professional make certain that they approve of all that you try. This information is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. Any information given about back-related conditions, treatments, and products is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this publication. Before starting an exercise program, consult a physician.


Medical Disclaimer All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.


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