Sciatica is a low back disorder typified by mild to intense leg pain, caused when the sciatic nerve or related nerve roots in the low back are compressed, often by a herniated disc.

Usually, it affects only one side of the lower body and symptoms may be constant, varying from mild to severely disabling, making sitting, standing or walking difficult. Piriformis syndrome is a condition sometimes contributing to sciatica.

When the piriformis muscle compresses or irritates the sciatic nerve, buttock pain, tingling and numbness into the leg can occur. This combination of symptoms resulting from a nerve root problem is sometimes called a lumbar (low back) radiculopathy.

The range of sciatic symptoms include:

  • Pain that travels from the low back, through the buttocks, downward into the leg and sometimes into the foot 
  • Shooting pain down the leg - sometimes described as like electricity
  • Burning and tingling sensations in the leg
  • Partial leg numbness or weakness

Treatments for sciatica are generally conservative and involve:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Steroid Injection