Curious about sciatica?

Curious about sciatica?

Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve originates in the lower back, runs through the buttocks, and extends down the back of each leg. Sciatica occurs when there is irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, leading to various symptoms and discomfort. Here’s some key information about sciatica:


  1. Herniated disc: A herniated or slipped disc occurs when the soft inner core of a spinal disc pushes through the tougher outer layer, irritating the nearby nerve roots, including the sciatic nerve.
  2. Spinal stenosis: Narrowing of the spinal canal can put pressure on the sciatic nerve roots.
  3. Spinal degeneration: Age-related wear and tear of the spine can lead to conditions such as bone spurs and degenerative disc disease, which can irritate the sciatic nerve.
  4. Piriformis syndrome: The piriformis muscle, located in the buttocks, can compress or irritate the sciatic nerve, resulting in sciatica symptoms.


  1. Radiating pain: The hallmark symptom of sciatica is pain that radiates from the lower back through the buttocks and down the back of the leg. The pain can vary from a mild ache to a sharp, shooting sensation.
  2. Numbness and tingling: Some individuals with sciatica may experience numbness, tingling, or a pins-and-needles sensation in the leg or foot.
  3. Muscle weakness: Weakness in the affected leg or foot may occur, making it challenging to move or control the affected limb.
  4. Pain exacerbation: Symptoms are often worsened by activities that involve prolonged sitting, bending, or twisting of the spine.


  1. Self-care measures: Initial treatment typically involves self-care measures to alleviate symptoms, such as applying ice or heat to the affected area, resting, and avoiding activities that exacerbate pain.
  2. Pain medication: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or prescription medications may be used to reduce pain and inflammation.
  3. Physical therapy: Specific exercises and stretches can help improve flexibility, strengthen the core and back muscles, and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.
  4. Injections: Corticosteroid injections into the affected area may be recommended to reduce inflammation and provide temporary pain relief.
  5. Surgery: In severe cases where conservative measures do not provide relief, surgery may be considered to address the underlying cause of sciatica, such as a herniated disc.

It’s important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan tailored to your specific condition. They can provide guidance on managing symptoms, reducing the risk of recurrence, and addressing any underlying causes contributing to sciatica.