Sciatica describes pain felt along the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back, down through the buttock, hamstrings, and into the lower leg. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. The spinal sections it originates from include L4, L5, or S1.

Sciatica is commonly misdiagnosed, which can result in either slow or non-responsive treatment. Leg pain can have various sources. It can be a local leg injury or it may even be referred from your lower back. The main nerve that travels from your lower back to your leg is your sciatic nerve. Irritation or pinching of your sciatic nerve can cause severe leg pain known as sciatica.

Common Causes of Sciatica

Pressure on the sciatic nerve from a herniated disc usually causes sciatica. Otherwise joint inflammation, compression of the nerve from bony arthritic growths, or a locked facet joint in the lower spine can commonly cause sciatica.

Leg pain can have various sources. Pain can be a local leg injury or it may even be referred from your lower back and travel along the sciatic nerve. The main nerve that travels from your lower back to your leg is your sciatic nerve.

An injury that irritates or pinching of your sciatic nerve can cause severe leg pain known as sciatica. You're most likely to get sciatica when you're 30 to 50 years old. It may happen due to the effects of general wear and tear, plus any sudden pressure on the discs that cushion the vertebrae of your lower (lumbar) spine.

While there are numerous causes of sciatica, the most common are:

  • lumbar disc bulging
  • spine degeneration
  • facet joint degeneration

Other sources include:

  • piriformis syndrome
  • spinal stenosis
  • spondylolisthesis
  • sacroiliac dysfunction

You're most likely to get sciatica when you're 30 to 50 years old. It may happen due to the effects of general spine wear and tear (spondylosis)or a traumatic injury that sudden pressure on the lumbar discs eg lifting, bending, or sneezing.