Sciatica, also called lumbar radiculopathy, is a pain that originates along your sciatic nerve. This extends from the back of your pelvis down the back of your thigh. Your sciatic nerve is the primary nerve of your leg. It is also the largest nerve in your entire body.

What causes sciatica?

Usually, sciatica is caused by a herniated disk in your spine that presses on your sciatic nerve.

Other reasons for pressure on your sciatic nerve may include:

  • Obesity
  • Poor posture
  • Tumor
  • Abscess
  • Blood clot
  • Awkward sitting position
  • Any nerve disorders
  • Sometimes, the cause for your sciatica cannot be identified.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

Following are the most common symptoms of sciatica. However, you may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Lower back pain that radiates down your buttock and the back of one thigh
  • Pain that extends from your buttock down to your foot
  • Numbness (in severe cases)
  • Weakness (in severe cases)

The symptoms of sciatica may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.

Treatment begins with nonsurgical methods such as steroid injections, but if pain relief is not successful, surgical procedures may be needed.

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (1.866.225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.