What is Sciatica?

The term sciatica refers to the pain one can suffer due to a number of causes involving the nerves of the spinal cord. These pains, usually located in the back, hips or legs, have several treatments. Understanding sciatica and what may be the reason for it can encourage patients to seek treatment. It is often the not knowing that stops them from looking for a cure to their pain.


There are only a few main causes of sciatica that regularly affect people. It can either be a result of compression of the nerves within the spine, or sciatica may also be caused by nerves that are being pinched between disks of the spine. The pain may also be cause because a disk has slipped out of alignment and is pressing against the nerves of the spine.


The resulting pain a patient feels is different for each, not only in placement but in severity. For some who experience regular sciatica pain, it is debilitating and makes them unable to function on any regular basis. For others, they are only mild twinges that make themselves known when executing a particular movement such as bending over or picking something up.

Placement of the pain can be in the lower back and may flare up when sitting and sometimes walking. For others, the location is in the hips and can make nearly any movement a painful one. And in others, it can affect lower legs which can make walking a struggle on a regular basis.

In any case a physician should be consulted when the pain occurs. With the assistance of a medical professional the cause may be found as well as a course of treatment to help control and even halt the pain completely.


Finding the treatment or set of treatments that can help to remove the pain can take some time. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause for the sciatic pain in many cases. This can often make finding the most effective treatment a difficult one. It will take patience on both the part of the physician and the person suffering from sciatica.

These treatments that involve quite a bit of trial and error will include two main types, pharmaceutical and surgical. A surgical solution may come to mind first, but it is usually the last resort. Doctors will most assuredly suggest a pharmaceutical solution in the form of pain killers or a medication that reduces inflammation that might be causing the pain.

Understanding why sciatica occurs and what the pain can be may help a patient to better understand the reasons for difficulty in locating a proper solution. Working together, a doctor and patient can often find a means to reduce and possibly even remove all pain.

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