What is Sciatica

What is Sciatica? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Sciatica is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a type of nerve pain that occurs due to the compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve originates in the lower back and runs down to the legs, providing sensation and movement to the lower body. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for sciatica.

Causes of Sciatica

Sciatica can occur due to several reasons, some of which are:

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is a condition in which the disc between the vertebrae in the spine ruptures, causing the inner disc material to leak out and compress the nearby nerves, including the sciatic nerve.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which can put pressure on the nerves, including the sciatic nerve.

Piriformis Syndrome

The piriformis muscle is a small muscle located in the buttocks. When this muscle becomes tight or spasms, it can compress the sciatic nerve, causing pain and discomfort.


Trauma to the lower back or buttocks, such as a fall or car accident, can cause sciatica.

Bulging Disc

A bulging disc occurs when the disc extends beyond its normal boundaries and may press against nearby structures. In the case of a bulging disc in the lower back, it can potentially compress or irritate the roots of the sciatic nerve.

Symptoms of Sciatica

The most common symptom of sciatica is pain that starts in the lower back and radiates down to the legs. The pain can be sharp, burning, or tingling, and it usually affects only one side of the body. Other symptoms of sciatica include:

  • Numbness or weakness in the affected leg or foot
  • Difficulty standing up or walking
  • Pain that worsens with sitting or standing for long periods
  • A sensation of electric shock down the leg
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control (in severe cases)

Treatment Options for Sciatica

The treatment for sciatica depends on the underlying cause of the condition. Some common treatment options include:

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be an effective treatment for sciatica, as it can help to relieve pain and improve the strength and flexibility of the muscles that support the spine. A physical therapist will work with the patient to develop a customized exercise program that targets the specific areas of the body that are affected by sciatica. This may include stretching exercises, low-impact aerobic exercises, and strength training


Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be effective in relieving mild to moderate sciatica pain. In some cases, prescription medications such as muscle relaxants, antidepressants, or anti-seizure medications may be necessary to manage severe or chronic pain.


Corticosteroid injections are administered directly into the affected area and can help to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. The effects of the injection can last for several weeks or months, and multiple injections may be necessary to achieve long-term pain relief.


In rare cases, surgery may treat sciatica. This may include a discectomy, in which the herniated disc is removed, or a laminectomy, in which a portion of the spinal canal is removed to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.

The Nerve & Disc Institute’s™ IntraDiscNutrosis® Treatment Program

While the above treatment options can help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with sciatica, it’s important to note that they only address the symptoms and not the root cause of the problem. Focusing solely on the symptoms of sciatica can lead to a cycle of temporary relief and recurring pain, ultimately making the condition worse over time.

That’s where our IntraDiscNutrosis® treatment comes in. The focus of this treatment is on addressing the underlying problem that’s causing the disc to degenerate, rather than simply treating the symptoms. IntraDiscNutrosis® is a non-surgical, non-invasive procedure that may help regenerate and heal the disc from the inside out. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get on the path to recovery.