Sciatica or sciatic pain and symptoms are associated with a pinched or compressed spinal nerve root (exiting nerve) from the spinal cord. Your spinal cord stems from the base of your skull and travels through the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions of your back. Between each vertebra, at each level, a pair of spinal nerves exit through holes in the bone of the spine called the foramen on both sides of the spinal column. These nerves are called nerve roots or radicular nerves.
The sciatic nerve is an extension of the exiting nerve and anatomically runs down both legs, connecting to muscle and tendons into your hip, buttock, thigh, knee, calf, and foot. The main cause of sciatica nerve pain is a herniated disc compressing or pinching a nerve root. Sciatica can be present in one or both legs. Another common term used to describe this pain is radicular pain or radiculitis (nerve root inflammation). Radicular pain is usually secondary to inflammation or compression of a spinal nerve. This pain is often deep and steady and usually reproduced with certain positions and activities such as walking or sitting. Once a nerve dysfunction is documented by a physician, the condition is referred to radiculopathy. There are treatments available at the Spine Institute of North American for sciatica nerve pain. You can contact us to make your appointment today and learn more about sciatica treatment options.