What is sciatica?

Nerve pain. Sciatica is a common term for a set of symptoms caused by compression or irritation of the nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve, or the actual sciatic nerves. The pain is felt in the lower back, buttock, or any part of the leg and foot. The pain may be accompanied by numbness, weakness, tingling and difficulty in moving or controlling the leg. There are many causes of sciatica.
Pain. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that is composed of many smaller nerves that come out of the lower back and run down each leg. They merge and separate like an interstate highway system. The nerve may be irritated by a spinal problem (herniated disc, spinal stenosis, arthritis), or a muscle spasm. In either case, sciatica is when the injured nerve causes pain going down the leg.
Sciatica. Low back, buttock and "shooting" leg pain are all symptoms of a pinched nerve. It sounds like you may have that problem. If the pain is severe and limiting your activity still, the best non-narcotic medications that I have found to work for my patients are antiinflammatories such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen which are over-the-counter medications. Other non-narcotic medications include tramadol (ultram) which requires a prescription and nerve-pain medications such as gabapentin. These are all to be taken for temporary pain relief. This type of pain typically resolves with time. Ask your primary physician about these if the pain is still limiting you. If it is still going on for more than a month an MRI may be helpful to help sort out what is going on and there could be other potential treatments outside of surgery that could benefit you.
Back ; Leg Pain. Sciatica is pain in the distribution of the leg as a result of an irritated nerve or facet joints or other injury typically in the lumbar spine (low back) which are caused by herniated disks, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease, etc requiring further evaluation by a spine specialist and may be candidate for facet injections/radiofrequency ablation and epidural steroid injection.
Pain in the leg. Sciatica is symptoms of irritation of the sciatic nerve. This is the longest nerve in the body and you have one going down each leg. Sciatica may be caused by an arthritic spur, a ruptured or herniated disc, or rarely a tumor that is pinching a nerve in the low back region.

Related Questions

What is sciatica?

Sciatica. Sciatic is a condtion of pain arising from pressure or irritation or inflammation of the sciatic nerve as it courses from the lumbar spine down to the lower leg and foot. Read more...
Lumbar radiculopathy. You have 5 lumbar vertebrae connected to the sacrum. Between each two vertebrae there is a foramen, or hole, bilaterally where the nerves to the legs leave the spinal canal. Spine arthritis, and degenerative disk disease can cause bone or ligaments to encroach on these spinal nerves either inside the spine or in the foramina causing shooting pain, leg numbness, leg weakness. Read more...
Leg pain . Sciatica is a symptom from compression of one or more nerves in the lumbar spine that causes severe buttock and leg pain often associated with numbness and tingling. Although theist common cause comes from your low back, it can come from any compression of the nerve along its course from your back to your foot. Read more...
Shooting pain. A herniated disc can cause back pain as well as foot pain by physically pressing on the nerves that travel to the foot and by irritating them through the extrusion of pro-inflammatory disc materials. Typical symptoms include back pain and shooting, electrical pain going down one or both legs. Read more...
Back ; Leg Pain. Sciatica is pain in the distribution of the leg as a result of an irritated nerve or facet joints or other injury typically in the lumbar spine (low back) which are caused by herniated disks, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease, etc requiring further evaluation by a spine specialist and may be candidate for facet injections/radiofrequency ablation and epidural steroid injection. Read more...

What is sciatica and what are some of its symptoms?

Nerve irritation. Sciatica is a condition where there is irritation of the sciatic nerve. This can produce pain, weakness, sensory nd reflex changes. Because the sciatic nerve is a larger bundle from several smaller nerve roots, the areas involved depends on where the nerve is irritated. It will involve the back, buttock, thigh, calf, foot, genital areas. Read more...
Shooting pain. A herniated disc can cause back pain as well as foot pain by physically pressing on the nerves that travel to the foot and by irritating them through the extrusion of pro-inflammatory disc materials. Typical symptoms include back pain and shooting, electrical pain going down one or both legs. Read more...
Back & Leg Pain. Sciatica is pain in the distribution of the leg as a result of an irritated nerve or facet joints or other injury typically in the lumbar spine (low back) which are caused by herniated disks, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease, etc requiring further evaluation by a spine specialist and may be candidate for facet injections/radiofrequency ablation and epidural steroid injection. Read more...

What causes sciatica pain?

Pyriformis v disc. It can occur due to disc herniation in lower back or due to a hip muscle known aa pyriformis irritating the sciatic nerve which it straddles in the buttock region mimicking a herniation pattern. Intrapelvic lesions and lesions of sciatic nerve can cause symptoms. Late lyme disease can cause this pain pattern, spondylolysis/ listhesis or spinal stenosis or a synovial cyst or other mass in spine, . Read more...
Many Etiologies. Sciatica refers to entrapment/pressure against the nerve itself often at the level of the piriformis muscle or in the spine where one or more of the nerve roots exit that make up the sciatic nerve. Spine conditions such as disc disease, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, and tumors/masses can cause sciatica. It is important to get a comprehensive work up including MRI if your symptoms persist. Read more...
Spine Injury. This chronic pain in the distribution as you suggested is the result of an irritated nerve or facet joints or other injury typically in the lumbar spine (low back) which are caused by herniated disks, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease, etc requiring further evaluation by a spine specialist. Read more...

What causes sciatica during pregnancy?

Pressure. There are a few causes of sciatica during pregnancy- among these are pressure on the lumbar plexus of nerves by the uterus/baby, increased pressure on the disks from increased weight in pregnancy, or simply increased stress on the piriformis muscle imitating sciatica. There are a few more but these are some of the more common ones. Read more...
Most common-pyriform. The fetus can compress the pyriformis muscle and cause it to spasm. It is easier to occur when the pelvis widens, already stretching this muscle. This muscle overlies the sciatic nerve (actually one third of people have sciatic nerve branches passing through it! when it cotracts-bingo, an abrupt onset of sciatica! Read more...
Lots of Reasons. When pregnant, there are so many things going on. Your hormones are very different causing your ligaments to stretch quite a bit especially in the pelvis resulting in pain. Also the baby's position can place stress on your spine resulting in bulging discs or even herniated disks causing the sciatica pain. Recommend seeing a pregnancy specialized therapist that can guide you through this. Read more...

Hi doctors, can you tell me what is sciatica-piriformis-syndrome?

Piriformis Pain. The sciatic nerve runs underneath the piriformis muscle and typically does not irritate the nerve. However if the muscle is irritated or the nerve runs through the belly of the muscle (5-10% of people) it can press on the sciatic nerve and cause the sciatica type pain in the buttock region but also radiate into the leg as well. Typically stretching and nsaids are mainstay for treatment. Read more...

If I have hypotrophic facet sclerosis, can that b what caused sciatica?

Yes. Facrt sclerosis hypertrophic means joint arthritis with bone spurring which can lead to pressure on L5 or s1 nerve roots and produce posterior leg pain with standing and walking or siatica. Read more...
Spinal stenosis. Sounds like you have hypertrophic facets which can contribute to spinal stenosis, meaning that they can put pressure on the nerves and cause radiating pain down the leg. So to answer your question- yes. Read more...
Hypertrophic? Hypotrophic suggests the joint didn't grow into the right size. Unsure, but I would suggest you see a spine specialist to address what your MRI findings are and how that relates to sciatica pain. Read more...

Can I know in more depth what is sciatica? I had it last year and 10 days ago I did heavy lifting and my right leg started to burn after one week

Sciatica. http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/mobileart.asp?articlekey=2026. Read more...
Sciatica. This refers to pain in the distribution of the sciatic nerve which typically has branches from the L3 to S1 nerve roots which come from the spinal cord. It is both sensory and motor hence pain and weakness can be seen. Typically any disc at L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1 can produce symptoms, foraminal narrowing can do the same. Read more...