Sciatica is a term used to describe the symptoms of leg pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness that travel down the low back via the sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. Sciatica (sometimes known as radiculopathy) is a description of symptoms, not a diagnosis. A herniated disc, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and spondylolisthesis can all cause sciatica.

The most common causes for piriformis syndrome are when the muscle spasms, becomes tight, or increases in volume or mass. Piriformis syndrome typically develops after a direct injury to the buttock area or from excessive physical activity or poor posture.

Acute sciatica pain may be relieved using an ice pack. Alternately, a heat pack can help improve blood flow and supply oxygen to the sore tissues, promoting healing.

The diagnosis of sciatica largely depends on the distribution of pain along the leg. Patients are asked to report the pattern of pain distribution in the leg and thigh.

Essential techniques to help relieve sciatica pain, as well as prevent future episodes of pain include using correct posture and staying active in moderation.

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