The hallmark symptom of sciatica is pain that shoots down one of your legs. Though the severity of your pain may vary, most patients describe it as a severe, debilitating pain similar to an electric shock.

You may experience other symptoms that radiate along the nerve, including tingling, numbness, or burning pain. In severe cases, you may develop muscle weakness that makes it difficult to move your foot, bend your knee, or walk.

Many patients also find that their pain is worse when they sneeze, laugh, cough, bend backward, or have a bowel movement.