Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

What is sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the largest in the body, starting in the lower back and extending down through the leg. When this nerve gets irritated, you can feel pain in your lower back, which can sometimes radiate down your leg and even past your knee. Often, sciatica is caused by the piriformis muscle putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. Sometimes, irritation is caused by a lumbar disc herniation that pinches the nerve.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

The most telltale sign of sciatica is pain that radiates through the lower back and down into the buttocks. Sometimes this feeling is characterized as a numbing or tingling sensation, maybe even a burning feeling. If the pain extends down the buttocks, it can be felt in the back of the thigh or in the hip. Oftentimes, sciatica makes walking difficult or painful. Additionally, if you only find relief in lying down, you might have sciatica.

How is sciatica usually diagnosed?

Beyond using your symptoms to diagnose sciatica, medical professionals may also use your medical history or a physical exam to address your concerns.