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Sciatic Pain

Sciatica refers to pain that travels along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve

travels from the lower back through the hips and buttocks and down each leg. Sciatica

pain can be almost anywhere along the nerve pathway. It's especially likely to follow a

path from the low back to the buttock and the back of a thigh and calf.

Sciatica most often occurs when a herniated disk or an overgrowth of bone puts pressure

on part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the

affected leg. Sciatica can also develop from spondylolisthesis, a condition when a

vertebra shifts and results in a pinch of one of the sciatic nerves “nerve roots” as well as

piriformis syndrome, a condition where a tight muscle in the buttock compresses the

sciatic nerve. Sciatica can also develop from conditions other than nerve compressions.

Some people experience sciatica as a result of singles, a condition where a virus infects a


Although the pain associated with sciatica can be severe, most cases clear up with

treatment in a few weeks. The pain can vary from a mild ache to a sharp, burning pain.

Sometimes it can feel like a jolt or electric shock. It can be worse when coughing or

sneezing or sitting a long time. Usually, sciatica affects only one side of the body.

People who have severe sciatica and serious leg weakness, numbness and tingling, or

bowel or bladder changes might need more urgent medical attention.


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