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The term sciatica is commonly used to describe pain traveling down the path of the sciatic nerve - which is down the back of the leg(s).

Sciatica is a symptom caused by a disorder occurring in the lumbar spine.

The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body measuring three-quarters of an inch in diameter, about the diameter of a finger.

The sciatic nerve originates in the sacral plexus; a network of nerves in the low back (lumbosacral spine).

The lumbosacral spine refers to the lumbar spine and the sacrum combined. The sciatic nerve and its nerve branches enable movement and feeling (motor and sensory functions) in the thigh, knee, calf, ankle, foot and toes.

The sciatic nerve and the lumbosacral spine is pictured below.

Sciatic Nerve

What causes sciatica?

Any condition that causes irritation to the sciatic nerve can cause the pain associated with sciatica. In many cases, sciatica is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve from a herniated disc (also called a slipped disc or ruptured disc.) Additional common causes of sciatica include:

    • lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of spinal canal in the lower back)
    • degenerative disc disease (breakdown of discs, which act as cushions between the vertebrae)
    • spondylolisthesis (a condition in which one vertebra slips forward over another one)

If Sciatica is caused by a disc bulge or disc herniation, Spinal Decompression can help.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

    • Pain in the rear or leg that is worse when sitting
    • Burning or tingling down the leg
    • Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot
    • A constant pain on one side of the rear
    • A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up

Sciatica usually affects only one side of the lower body. Often, the pain extends from the lower back all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the leg.

Depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected, the pain may also extend to the foot or toes.

For some people, the pain from sciatica can be severe and debilitating. For others, the pain from sciatica might be infrequent and irritating, but has the potential to get worse.

How do you know if Diamond Disc Institute For Spinal Care can help you?

Contact our office at (651) 257-DISC to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Virga to determine your individual situation.

After carefully studying your case history and exam findings, Dr. Virga will sit down and explain his recommended plan of action for you.

After answering any questions you may have about the recommended plan, you may begin your care.

Dr. Joseph Virga
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