Is My Pain Sciatica or Something Else?

Sciatica is a term for symptoms of pain along the large sciatic nerve that runs from your lower spine and down the back of the leg. Sciatica is diagnosed when the sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed by some type of problem in your lower back.

When any of the nerve roots in your lower back are irritated, pain travels from the nerve root to the sciatic nerve, down to the buttock, and sometimes down the back of the leg and into your foot and/or toes.

Sciatica pain is often experienced as a shooting, searing pain that radiates down the back of the leg. Sometimes, numbness, tingling, or burning is felt along the nerve. Some people describe the nerve pain as electric-like. Conversely, sciatica symptoms may be experienced as more of a constant, dull pain.

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