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Is sciatica a work-related injury?

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2021 | Workplace Injuries |

Sciatica, a pain that originates in the vertebrae of the spine and causes an electric shock or burning pain that typically runs down the back of the leg and into the foot, can be caused by your job.

Research shows that a single traumatic event at work can cause this very painful and often debilitating injury. Sciatica can be the result of a slip, trip, vehicle accident, prolonged sitting or standing or strain from twisting or heavy lifting.

5 signs and symptoms of sciatica

Did you lift something heavy, or need to twist in your chair or while moving something you were carrying at work? Does your job require you to sit for extended periods without breaks? You may have damage or impingement of the sciatic nerve. Check this list and see if what you are suffering is sciatica:

  1. A sharp, electric-like shock that runs down the back of one or both of your legs
  2. A burning sensation down the back of your leg, or in your buttock or groin
  3. Muscle weakness or tingling in your legs
  4. Loss of bladder or bowel control
  5. “Drop foot” where you drag your toes or are unable to move your foot

If you have these symptoms, report them to your supervisor or manager and see a medical professional. You may need an x-ray or MRI to diagnose and treat your pain.

Who gets sciatica?

Anyone can get sciatica, unfortunately. The most common jobs for sciatica injury are:

  • Administrative support
  • Driver
  • Baggage handler
  • Construction worker
  • Warehouse employee
  • Landscaper or gardener
  • Nurse
  • Nursing home worker

Treatments range from the conservative: ice, heat, OTC anti-inflammatories, chiropractic adjustments, massage and physical therapy, to moderate, such as a steroid injection to decrease inflammation. Serious spinal injuries may require surgery. Understanding what is causing the pain is the first step to take.