Sciatica refers to pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg. It is caused by injury to or pressure on the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve starts in the lower back and runs down the back of each leg. This nerve controls the muscles of the back of the knee and lower leg. It also provides sensation to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg, and the sole of the foot.
Sciatica pain can vary widely. It may feel like a mild tingling, dull ache, or burning sensation. In some cases, the pain is severe enough to make a person unable to move.
Wake Forest Baptist spine specialists most often treat sciatica with nonsurgical therapeutic methods like heat or ice packs or over-the-counter pain relievers. They may also recommend that you avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise temporarily to decrease pain and inflammation. Injections or physical therapy may also be used depending on the intensity of your pain.