Low back pan and/or leg pain that usual, travels down an area of your leg, where the large sciatic nerve is located is referred to as sciatica. This pain can be caused when a nerve root in the lower spine that helps form the sciatic nerve is irritated.
Sciatica is usually caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve from a herniated disc in the lumbar spine. This problem is often diagnosed as a "radiculopathy", meaning that a disc has protruded/moved from its normal position in the vertebral column and is putting pressure on the radicular nerve (nerve root) in the lower back, which forms part of the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica occurs most frequent, in people between 30 and 50 years of age. Often a particular event or injury does not cause sciatica, but rather it may develop as a result of general wear and tear on the structures of the lower spine. The vast majority of people who experience sciatica get better with time (usually a few w.ks or months) and find pain relief with non-surgical treatments.
Signs of Sciatica are as follows:
- Pain in the rear or leg that is worse when sitting
- Burning or tingling down the leg
- Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
- A constant pain on one side of the rear
- A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up
- Low back pain may be present along with the leg pain, but usually the low back pain is less severe than the leg pain