What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is the sensation of pain, tingling, or numbness in the buttocks and/or legs produced by an irritation of the sciatic nerve. Multiple nerve roots extend from each side of the spinal cord in the sacral area (right above your tailbone), and join to form the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve actually only exists for a short length down the buttock, after which it branches into various nerves. These smaller nerve branches then travel down the leg, reaching the ankle and foot. The primary causes of sciatica are herniated, bulging, or degenerated discs, which put pressure on the spinal nerve roots. Other causes include bony growths on the spine (bone spurs) or compression of the nerves through injury. In rare cases, the sciatic nerve may be irritated by conditions such as tumors, pregnancy, or piriformis syndrome.