Spine & Orthopedic Pain Centers


Sciatica is not just limited to the lower back. The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body and it runs from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down the legs, ending just below the knee.

This nerve controls several muscles in the lower legs and supplies sensation to the skin of the foot and the majority of the lower leg. Sciatica is a symptom of another problem that affects the sciatic nerve. Most causes of sciatica are a disk problem such as a compression fracture or a slipped disk, which can cause spinal pain along with the discomfort of sciatica. Spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome, and spondylolisthesis are other causes. The piriformis is a muscle that connects the hip bone to the lower part of the spine.




The main symptom is a shooting or burning pain anywhere along the sciatic nerve; from the lower back, through the buttock, and down the back of either leg.

Other common symptoms of sciatica include:

  • Numbness in the leg along the nerve
  • Pain that gets worse with movement and it usually felt on the back side of your leg .
  • Weakness in your legs or feet, which is usually felt along your sciatic nerve pathway. In severe cases, you may experience a loss of feeling or movement.
  • Sensation of pins and needles, which involves a painful tingling in your toes or feet.
  • You may experience incontinence, which is the inability to control your bladder or bowels. This is a rare symptom of cauda equina syndrome (CES), which is an emergency.

This pain can range in severity and may be aggravated by sitting for long periods or curling up in a ball.


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