What is sciatica?
If you are experiencing mild to severe pain anywhere from your lower back, hips, buttocks, and/or down your legs, you may be suffering from sciatica. This pain is caused by irritation, inflammation, pinching, or compression of a nerve in the lower part of your spine – usually from a slipped or herniated disk.
One sciatic nerve runs on each side of your body from your lower back through each leg, ending just below the knee. It is the longest and thickest nerve in your body, and it branches into smaller nerves throughout your leg.
Actual injury to the sciatic nerve is uncommon, so the term sciatica is used broadly to describe any pain originating in the lower back and radiating down the leg. You usually only experience sciatic pain on one side of the body.