Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve and its branches — from your back down your buttock and leg. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from your spinal cord to your buttock and hip area and down the back of each leg. Sciatica is a symptom, not a disorder. The radiating pain of sciatica signals another problem involving the nerve, such as a herniated disk. Depending on the cause, the pain of acute sciatica — which may be quite uncomfortable — usually goes away on its own within a couple of weeks or may take months.
Causes of sciatic type pain can come from a couple of different sources. Sometimes the disc bulge or herniation can cause the pain and this will most of the time be accompanied with tingling and numbness down the affected leg and foot. Many people with this form of sciatia don’t realize the issue is in the back because most often there is no pain in the back. Another source of pain from sciatica is the piriformis muscle. It is the one muscle that the sciatic nerve pierces through and if it is inflamed, there will be associated sciatic pain. The pain will most often travel from the glut region down the back of the leg and to the knee. It usually will not go beyond the knee.
A Note from the Doctor: We will get great results if the reason for the sciatic pain is muscular in nature by utilizing myotherapy, stretching, and rehabilitative exercises. If through our evaluation we find the pain is resulting from a disc injury we will refer for an MRI to find the extent of damage to the disc. This will be accompanied with appointment to a back specialist for an evaluation and to discuss other options available. Some people have the pain and numbness so bad that they will opt for surgery and others will allow the pain to subside and do the physical therapy necessary for it not to become a problem again. People with disc injury resulting of sciatica can have reoccurrence with or without surgery.