Sciatica Causes & Symptoms

Sciatica Overview Sciatica Causes & Symptoms Sciatica Diagnosis & Treatments

What Causes Sciatic Pain?

The sciatic nerve, an extension of the exiting nerve, anatomically runs down both legs connecting to muscle and tendons in your hip, buttock, thigh, knee, calf and foot. The main cause of sciatica is a herniated disc compressing or pinching a nerve root. Sciatica can be present in one or both legs. Another common term used to describe this pain is radicular pain or radiculitis (nerve root inflammation). Radicular pain is usually secondary to inflammation or compression of a spinal nerve. This pain is often steady and deep and usually reproduced with certain positions and activities such as sitting or walking. Once a surgeon documents a nerve dysfunction, the condition is called radiculopathy.

What Are The Symptoms Associated with Sciatica?

The symptoms generally associated with sciatica occur on one side of your body affecting a leg. However, in severe cases of spinal stenosis, exiting nerves on each side of the spinal cord can be compressed and produce sciatic symptoms in both the arms and legs, leaving patients in chronic debilitating pain. This sciatic nerve pain can manifest itself with some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Burning
  • Cramping
  • Numbness
  • Tightness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Sharp needle like pain

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