Inflammation and irritation of the sciatic nerve, a nerve that runs down the back of each thigh. This nerve arises from the lower spine and runs into the pelvis and lower buttocks area. From there, it passes along the back of each thigh and branches at the knee.
Sciatica can be caused by anything that puts irritation on the sciatic nerve. Such conditions can include a herniated disc, slippage of a bone in the lower back area, disk degeneration, infections and blood clots.
Sciatica typically causes pain that shoots down the back of one thigh or buttock. This pain is often characterized by burning, tingling, or numbness on one side of the leg. Difficulty walking, fever and loss of bladder and bowel control can also occur.
Treatment procedures for sciatica can include nonsurgical procedures such as pain medications, physical therapy and alternative therapy techniques such as acupuncture.