- Pain resulting from irritation of the sciatic nerve, typically felt from the low back to behind the thigh and radiating down below the knee. While sciatica can result from a herniated disc directly pressing on the nerve, any cause of irritation or inflammation of this nerve can reproduce the painful symptoms of sciatica. Diagnosis is by observation of symptoms, physical and nerve testing, and sometimes by X-ray or MRI if a herniated disk is suspected. Treatment options include avoiding movements that further irritate the condition,
* * *Pain in the lower back and hip radiating down the back of the thigh into the leg, initially attributed to sciatic nerve dysfunction (hence the term), but now known to usually be due to herniated lumbar disk compromising a nerve root, most commonly the L5 or S1 root. SYN: sciatic neuralgia, sciatic neuritis. [see sciatic]
* * *sci·at·i·ca sī-'at-i-kə n pain along the course of a sciatic nerve esp. in the back of the thigh caused by compression, inflammation, or reflex mechanisms broadly pain in the lower back, buttocks, hips, or adjacent parts
* * *n.pain felt down the back and outer side of the thigh, leg, and foot. It is usually caused by degeneration of an intervertebral disc, which protrudes laterally to compress a lower lumbar or an upper sacral spinal nerve root. The onset may be sudden, brought on by an awkward lifting or twisting movement. The back is stiff and painful. There may be numbness and weakness in the leg. Bed rest will often relieve the pain but surgical treatment, in the form of a microdiscectomy, is occasionally necessary.
* * *sci·at·i·ca (si-atґĭ-kə) [L.] a syndrome characterized by pain radiating from the back into the buttock and along the posterior or lateral aspect of the lower limb; it is most often caused by protrusion of a low lumbar intervertebral disk. The term is also used to refer to pain anywhere along the course of the sciatic nerve. Called also Cotugno disease and sciatic neuralgia or neuropathy.
Distribution of pain in sciatica.
Medical dictionary. 2011.