13 Feb What REALLY is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a term used to describe the sensation one gets from the sciatic nerve – a large nerve that runs from the low back, through the glute, down the back of the leg – when it is compressed or “pinched” somewhere along it’s path. The feeling is normally burning, numbness, or tingling into the glute and/or down the back side of the leg, potentially even into the calf and foot.
Many people use the word “sciatica” to explain a diagnosis: “my doctor says I have sciatica”… however sciatica is in fact really just a symptom, not a diagnosis. There are two main causes or diagnoses that could lead someone to experience sciatic symptoms, 1: a herniated disc (“slipped disc”) or 2: piriformis syndrome. In both instances there is ‘something’ (disc tissue or a tight muscle) pressing on the sciatic nerve, which in turn causes the typical burning, numbness, or tingling into the glute and/or down the leg. So, if you have sciatica, you should look into what is causing it in order to fix the true problem and decrease your pain. You dont HAVE sciatica. You have only a sympton.
Remember, the symptom of nerve pain or ‘sciatica’ is not a diagnosis, therefore it is just a small piece of the puzzle we need to know to fix the underlying problem.
(See our previous posts on herniated discs and piriformis syndrome for reference)