The Link Between Diabetes and Sciatica


The Link Between Diabetes and Sciatica

Is there a link between diabetes and sciatica? Both conditions affect your nerves and can cause symptoms like tingling or numbness in your legs. Our expert team shares more.

You might not think about a potential link between diabetes and sciatica. After all, diabetes is a metabolic condition, while sciatica relates to pain in your lower back and legs. But the human body is complex, and it’s possible they could affect one another. 

Our expert team treats sciatica and other conditions at Spine & Pain Specialists of the Carolinas, located in Charlotte, North Carolina. An advocate for pain-free living, Dr. Aashish Kumar has devoted his career to helping people find pain relief through up-to-date pain management approaches. Neuromodulation is an emerging area of pain medicine and offers people relief without the risks associated with opioids and other medications. 

Sciatica symptoms 

Consider the sciatic nerve. It’s the longest nerve in the body, running from your lower back through each leg. When it’s healthy, your sciatic nerve ensures you can stand, walk, dance, and experience a full range of mobility.

If this nerve is irritated, it can be painful. Known as sciatica, the symptoms range from a sharp or burning pain to a dull roar or even numbness in the legs. Many times, sciatica stems from a herniated disc or a pinched nerve. If you have sciatica, Dr. Kumar will work with you on a customized treatment plan.

Diabetes symptoms 

But what about diabetes? As you know, diabetes relates to the way your body processes glucose. Glucose is a type of sugar that provides energy, but when your body can’t process the glucose properly, you can have dangerous spikes in sugar levels. 

Diabetes can cause nerve damage. You’ve likely heard of neuropathy, when you may experience numbness or reduced sensation in your feet, which can throw off your balance.

Can they be linked? 

Since both health concerns affect your nerves, it’s possible they could be linked. With diabetes and sciatica, you can feel tingling or numbness. However, the reasons behind it are different. Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage and can come on slowly. Sciatica is inflammation and can strike quickly. 

There’s no definitive answer to the question of whether diabetes and sciatica are linked though the symptoms can be similar. We know lifestyle choices can play a role in these health issues. For example, sciatic pain can make it harder to exercise, and regular exercise is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

As for whether people with diabetes are more apt to have sciatica or vice versa, current research is inconclusive. We do know that these symptoms benefit from a full evaluation by our medical team. 

When to see a doctor 

If you’re experiencing unusual leg pain, it’s time to schedule a visit with our team. You can click here to schedule your appointment with the Spine & Pain Specialists of the Carolinas in Charlotte, North Carolina.