What is the Sciatic Nerve?

The sciatic nerve is one of the large nerves that supply the buttocks and legs with sensation and the ability to move certain muscle groups. It forms from smaller nerves joining together from the lower vertebrae of the back (L4 to S3). It runs down the buttock, through the back of the thigh and then divides at the calf to supply the lower leg with sensation and movement. 


Individuals who are experiencing can have any of the following affect the leg;

- Pins and Needles (parasthesia), burning sensation and/or numbness

- Shooting pain down the back of the leg that could almost be traced out in a line

- Loss in power and/or coordination

- Pain with coughing or sneezing 

What Causes Sciatica

Sciatic pain is caused through irritation to the nerve where it forms together in the lower back or as it passes through the buttock. Irritation can be caused by disc bulging or prolapses, narrowing of the spinal canal or where the nerves exit (otherwise known as spinal stenosis), narrowing of disc height through disc degeneration or through compression caused by a tight piriformis muscle.

Sciatic Nerve Treatment and Pain Relief

People who are experiencing sciatic nerve pain can achieve relief of their symptoms through consulting their physiotherapist and general practitioner. Through opening out the spaces where the nerve exits, addressing any muscle spasm/tightness, a tailored stretching program for sciatica and medical management from your GP, the symptoms of sciatica will alleviate over a period of week to months depending on the cause of the pain. 

It is always worthwhile addressing this kind of problem sooner rather than later so if you are epxeriencing this kind of issue or unsure of what is causing your back pain book an appointment today and get it looked at