Sciatica refers to the pain, weakness, numbness or tingling in the leg.  It can be caused by injury to or pressure on the sciatic nerve.  The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body.  It travels from your lower back through your hip and buttock all the way down your leg where it divides into two branches at the knee.

Common symptoms of sciatica include:

  • Pain in the buttocks or leg that is worse when sitting
  • Burning or tingling down the leg
  • Felt in one leg at a time
  • Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • A constant pain on one side of the buttock
  • A shooting pain that may make it difficult to stand up
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis—the narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back

Sciatica treatment focuses on relieving any pain and inflammation. Your doctor may recommend the following treatment options for your sciatica:

  • Ice or heat to the painful and inflamed area
  • Pain relievers for pain and inflammation
  • Injections to reduce inflammation around the nerve
  • Physical therapy to help prevent further episodes of sciatica