Sudden, sometimes debilitating pain that starts in the low back and radiates down the leg is a telltale sign of sciatica. Sciatica is a condition in which the nerve that runs from the lower back, through the buttocks and down the leg becomes inflamed or irritated. Read on for more.

Causes & Triggers

  • Arthritis
  • Herniated disc
  • Fracture
  • Injury
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolistheis

Signs & Symptoms

  • Burning or “pins and needles” sensation
  • Difficulty with walking, standing, moving
  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Shooting pain
  • Tingling
  • Weakness

Tips & Treatments

  • This condition can be acute (sudden onset) or recurring (chronic).
  • Pain may worsen with sitting, standing, coughing, sneezing or straining.
  • Symptoms range from mild to severe and can sometimes go away on their own.
  • Treatment may include rest, applying hot or cold packs, stretching, walking, anti-inflammatory medication, epidural injection and/or physical therapy.
  • Surgery may be recommended for extreme cases in which the compressed nerve results in overwhelming pain or bladder incontinence.