What is sciatica?

Sciatica, also called lumbar radiculopathy, is a pain that originates along your sciatic nerve. This extends from the back of your pelvis down the back of your thigh. Your sciatic nerve is the primary nerve of your leg. It is also the largest nerve in your entire body.

Causes of sciatica

Usually, sciatica is caused by a herniated disk in your spine that presses on your sciatic nerve.

Other reasons for pressure on your sciatic nerve may include:

  • Obesity
  • Poor posture
  • Tumor
  • Abscess
  • Blood clot
  • Awkward sitting position
  • Any nerve disorders
  • Sometimes, the cause for your sciatica cannot be identified.

Symptoms of sciatica

Following are the most common symptoms of sciatica. However, you may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Lower back pain that radiates down your buttock and the back of one thigh
  • Pain that extends from your buttock down to your foot
  • Numbness (in severe cases)
  • Weakness (in severe cases)

The symptoms of sciatica may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.


Treatment begins with nonsurgical methods such as steroid injections, but if pain relief is not successful, surgical procedures may be needed.

Spine Surgery

Our spine surgery specialists are academically trained in advanced techniques and perform a high volume of surgeries using the latest technologies.

Non-Surgical Orthopaedic Treatments

Some orthopaedic conditions are first treated with non-surgical procedures followed by surgery as the next step.

Orthopaedic Rehab

As one of the most extensive programs at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, our primary focus is to help patients build strength, mobility and endurance for a variety of orthopaedic conditions.

Orthopaedic Surgery



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