What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a set of symptoms that occurs when nerve roots between L4 to S3 on either side of the lower spine become irritated or pinched.

Sciatica symptoms originate in the lower back, radiate deep into the buttock, and travel down the leg.

Sciatica occurs due to an underlying medical condition; it is not a medical diagnosis.

What are the common causes of sciatica?

Lower back conditions that may cause sciatica include:

  • Lumbar Herniated Disc
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Degenerated Disc Disease

What are the common symptoms of sciatica?

  • PAIN. Sciatica pain may be constant or intermittent and is usually described as a burning sensation or a sharp, shooting pain that extends from the lower back into the buttock, leg, and possibly the foot.
  • ALTERED SENSATION. Numbness, tingling, and/or a pins-and-needles sensation may be felt at the back of the leg.
  • WEAKNESS. Weakness may be felt in the leg and foot. A feeling of heaviness in the affected leg may make it difficult to lift the foot off the floor.

How is sciatica treated?

Nonsurgical Treatments

While treating sciatica, it is essential to obtain an accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause, since the treatment of each condition may be unique and different from the others.

Nonsurgical methods are typically tried first and may include one or a combination of the following:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Massage
  • Lumbar Therapeutic Injections
  • Medication
  • Manual Therapy

Surgical Treatments

Surgery may be indicated when progressive neurological deficits occur.

  • Microdiscectomy
  • Lumbar Decompression

This information is not intended or implied as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images or other information provided is intended for general information purposes only. Always consult with your physician for diagnosis or treatment.