Sciatica is a set of symptoms rather than a diagnosis which involves pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back, often owing to degeneration of an intervertebral disc.
Pain typically is in the buttocks and pelvic area and radiates down the back of the thigh and leg and possibly into the foot.
Treatment for sciatica or sciatic symptoms often differs, depending on underlying causes and pain levels. Proper and thorough examination and evaluation are often needed to uncover the source of the problem.
Sciatica symptoms may include:
- Sharp pain in buttocks
- Difficulty walking
- Lower back or leg pain when sitting
- Burning sensation in legs
- Thigh pain
- Low back pain
- Numbness in leg
- Shooting pain in leg
- Lower back spasms
One common cause includes compression of the sciatic nerve roots by a herniated (torn) or protruding disc in the lower back. If it is determined that the pain is discogenic, that is resulting from a problem with the disc, then spinal decompression therapy may very well be the best and most appropriate approach to fixing the problem and eliminating the problem, for good.
Damage to a spinal disc can create local inflammation or put pressure on nerve roots which form the sciatic nerve. Pressure to this nerve likely causes the pain in the affected regions.