Sciatica affects more than three million Americans each year. It is a type of pain that is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. This is a long nerve that runs from the lower back and down each leg. Pain from sciatica can be mild to severe. For most people, the pain resolves on its own without the need for surgery.
Information. Sciatica can be a minor inconvenience or result in debilitating pain. The pain is generally located in the back, buttock and leg on one side of the body. Sciatica does not typically cause pain in both legs. The pain can appear without warning and last for days to weeks. Age-related changes in the spine can lead to a greater risk of developing sciatica over time. Other risk factors can include obesity, sitting for prolonged periods of time and diabetes. Jobs that require heavy lifting and twisting or prolonged driving may impact a person’s chances of developing sciatica. Although sciatica does not generally present with complications, it can. Seek medical attention for symptoms indicating nerve damage, such as a loss of feeling or pronounced weakness in the lower extremities or loss of bowel or bladder function.