Sciatica is a type of pain that starts in the lower back and goes through the buttox and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. It usually only affects one side of your body.

The most common cause of sciatica is a pinched nerve in the back. The pinched nerve is usually from:

  • A herniated disk
  • Spinal stenosis
  • A piece of bone that grew along the edges of bones (bone spur) on the back.

Mild sciatica usually goes away on its own. Severe sciatica or sciatica that keeps coming back should be treated to prevent it from getting worse.

Symptoms of Sciatica and Pinched Nerves

Pain from sciatica and pinched nerves in the lower back can sometimes be constant and very bad. Some people, however, may have mild symptoms that are more irritating than painful.

The most common symptom of sciatica is pain that starts in the lower spine and goes down the buttox and the back of the leg. This pain is usually on one side of the butt or one leg. It can be:

  • Worse when you sit
  • Burning or tingling
  • Sharp

The pain may make it hard for you to stand up or to walk.

Sciatica can also cause weakness or numbness or make it hard for you to move your leg or foot.

Get emergency medical care if you have:

  • Sudden, severe pain in your low back or leg and leg numbness or weakness
  • Back pain after an accident
  • Loss of control over your bowels or bladder