Sciatica is characterized by pain in the sciatic nerve path, which is located in your lower back, hips, buttocks, and legs. The pain can be acute or chronic.
What are the symptoms?
Sciatica usually only affects one side of the body and involves numbness, tingling, and weakness. The pain usually originates in your lower back, and then extends down to your buttocks and down the back of the leg. Chronic sciatica lasts more than three months and is constantly present.
What are the causes of sciatica?
The source of sciatica can sometimes be hard to pinpoint. Sciatica is usually caused by pressure placed on the nerve roots in the lumbar (lower) back, which can be due to an injury, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, or a herniated (bulging) disc.
How is it treated?
Sciatica pain can be managed by injections such as an epidural, which delivers pain medication to the fluid around the spinal cord, and nerve blocks, which reduce pain for a few months at a time by blocking pain signals to the brain. Spinal cord stimulation, which can be a more long-term solution, also interferes with pain signals.