What Is Sciatica?

Despite being commonly used as a term to describe radiating pain in the buttocks and legs, Sciatica is not an actual diagnose and is instead a symptom of an underlying spinal condition.  The sciatic nerve is the longest continuous nerve in the body and extends from the lumbar spine through the back of each leg.  When a spinal disc, piece of bone or other process irritate this nerve it can cause the radiating pain that is referred to as Sciatica.

What Causes Sciatica?

There are many different causes but all of these causes result in pressure on the sciatic nerve.   The symptoms can often be made worse if a person is overweight, wears high heels, sleeps on the wrong type of mattress or continues to overexert the structures of the spine.  

The most common conditions that cause Sciatica are:

  • Lumbar Disc Herniation
  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  • Degenerative Disc Disease  
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylosis
  • Spinal Arthritis

What Are The Symptoms?

Sciatic pain usually occurs at one side of a person’s body and it is very unlikely that if affects both sides of the body.  The most common symptom of sciatica are:

  • Burning or radiating pain in the lower back, buttocks, hips or legs
  • Weakness in the legs or feet
  • Numbness in the legs or feet
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