Sciatica is a condition in which pain radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. It branches from the lower back through the hips and buttocks and down each leg. The pain from sciatica is usually limited to one side of the body. It tends to affect people between the ages of 30 – 60 years.
CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS
The most common causes of sciatica are a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine, or a narrowing of the spine called spinal stenosis. This puts pressure on the nerve roots in the lumbar section of the spine, causing inflammation and pain. Sudden pressure on the vertebrae of the lower spine from an acute injury can also trigger the condition. It can feel like a sharp, leg cramp that can last for weeks.
In most cases, you can resolve sciatica with such non-surgical treatments such as rest. You can also resolve it by using non-steroidal inflammatory medications, applying heat or cold to the affected area, and physical therapy.
If the pain persists or worsens, your physician may administer a cortisone injection into the spine. Your physician may also recommend surgery. If those measures fail to provide relief or if the sciatica is accompanied by significant leg weakness or bowel or bladder changes, surgery may be recommended.