Leg pain ranges from mild to severe and as such it is classified in two parts, acute or chronic. Sciatica is pain that starts from the back through the lower back and buttocks and down to the backside of the leg. This term is commonly used to describe symptoms instead of an actual physical condition. Such pain is commonly caused by stress of the nerve roots in the lower back.
Acute sciatic pain results from injuries to the soft tissues such as sprains in muscles, tendons or ligaments. Acute leg pain occurs abruptly but takes a few days or even a week to heal. The severity of the pain is normally relative to the extent of the injury and might sometimes resolve itself with time. The origin of these pains is usually in the spinal joints or discs.
Chronic sciatic pain is more persistent and can take up to three months or more to heal. The source of this sciatic pain is sometimes hard to pinpoint. Chronic leg pain can be quite persistent and worsens when performing certain activities or with poor posture. Other contributing factors include nerve cell and tissue damages and arthritic complications. Chronic leg pain can also lead to adverse psychological effects due to continuous and prolonged pain. The complexity of the chronic symptoms varies from one person to another. Classic sciatic pain spreads from the lower back down to the back of the thigh and the foot.
Sciatic pain is sometimes more severe than back pain. The pain may range in intensity from mild and annoying to severe. In its early stages a person can experience numbness or tickly sensations in the leg or foot and might be easily disregarded especially if you have strong leg muscles. Sometimes the pain can be experienced as a tight pressure, a burning sensation or even in some cases as a continuously throbbing pain.