What is Sciatica?

The definition of Sciatica means pain that flows along the path of the sciatic nerve, which begins from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Generally, sciatica affects only one side of your body.


Sciatica happens when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) applies pressure on part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg.


The pain of sciatica can be severe, but in most cases, it can be treated even without operation in a few weeks. People who have severe sciatica that is related with significant leg weakness or bowel or bladder changes might be candidates for surgery.

Sciatic nerve treatment

What are the symptoms of a Sciatica?

Pain that starts from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg is the hallmark of sciatica. You might feel the severe pain almost anywhere along the nerve pathway, but it’s especially likely to follow a path from your low back to your buttock and the back of your thigh and calf.


Although the pain can differ widely, from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating pain. Sometimes it can feel like a jolt or electric shock. It can be worse when you cough or sneeze, and prolonged sitting can aggravate symptoms. Usually only one side of your body is affected.


Some people also have numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot. In some cases, a person might feel the pain in one part of your leg and numbness in another part.

What are the complications of a sciatica?

sciatica can also result in permanent nerve damage. In such case, taking medical assistance is very important if you have:

  • Loss of feeling in the affected leg
  • Weakness in the affected leg
  • Loss of bowel or bladder function