What is sciatica: What causes sciatica?

What is sciatica?
Sciatica encompasses all symptoms resulting from damage to the sciatic nerve.  For this reason, the symptoms of sciatica are varied, ranging from unbearable sharp pain to numbness and tingling.  Usually sciatica occurs in one leg at a time or in the lower back.  The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back, to the buttock down the leg to the foot. Pressure or injury to any of these areas may affect the sciatic nerve.  Injury to the sciatic nerve causes, but is not limited to, numbness, tingling, pain or weakness.  Signs of sciatica include weakness in the knee, decreased reflex speed, and difficulty rotating ankle. Seek immediate medical attention if these symptoms are coupled with loss of bowel or bladder control as this may suggest severe nerve damage is taking place. [Read more...]