What is Sciatica
Sciatica, itself, is not a medical condition but is a term to describe the symptoms of a compressed sciatic nerve. Sciatic pain results in shooting pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness that begins in the lower back and travels down through the buttock and into the large sciatic nerve down the leg. The underlying medical conditions that cause sciatic pain include herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, spondylothesis, or spinal stenosis. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and has several nerve roots that branch out from the spine in the lower back and then all combine to create the sciatic nerve. Because the nerve is so large, the pain felt when it is compressed can be debilitating. Depending on which level of the spine, that the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated affects what symptoms are felt. Treating sciatica is dependent on what the underlying cause of the pinched sciatic nerve is.