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Sciatica refers to a particular pattern of pain that occurs because the underlying condition is affecting some or all of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerves are the largest nerve that serves the lower extremities (one on each side). The sciatic nerve forms in the lower back and then supplies the back of the thigh and the entire leg below the knee.
Sciatica is a pattern of pain that starts in the lower back and then radiates down the buttocks and back of the thigh and may also extend to the lower leg or foot.
There are multiple conditions that can cause sciatica, although the most common is a herniated disc that is pressing on one of the spinal nerves that form the sciatic nerve. However, any musculoskeletal problem in the lower spine or the muscles of the lower back can cause sciatica, such as compression fractures or muscle spasm.
What can be done about it would depend upon the underlying cause. Further evaluation would be necessary to determine the underlying cause. If it is a herniated disc, then pain medicines, anti-inflammatory medicines, and physical therapy are usually the first treatments, although it also may be necessary to consider spine injections or other procedures to relieve pressure on the nerve.
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