What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is defined as leg pain. If you complain of pain in your leg and ask your doctor what is causing your pain, he may answer, “you have sciatica.” With this answer, all he did was tell you in another language that you have pain in your leg. Sciatica is a symptom, like chest pain. There are many different causes of sciatica.

The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that is made up of 4 smaller nerves that leave your spine in the lower back. The sciatic nerve runs deep in the buttocks and goes to the muscles in the back of the thigh and most of the muscles below the knee.

If you have pain in the front of your thigh, you do not have “true sciatica” because the sciatic nerve does not go there. The most common cause of sciatica is disc problems, but there are many other causes of sciatica. Some of these are tumors, misplaced injections in the buttocks, and trauma.

If your doctor tells you that you have sciatica, ask him what is causing your leg pain.

~Dr. Dave