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Sciatica refers to pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg. It is caused by injury to or compression of the sciatic nerve.

Sciatica is a symptom of another medical problem, not a medical condition on its own. 

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THE SCIATIC NERVE

is located in the back of the leg. It supplies the muscles of the back of the knee and lower leg.

The sciatic nerve also provides sensation to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg, and the sole of the foot.

Partial damage to the nerve may demonstrate weakness of knee flexion (bending), weakness of foot movements, difficulty bending the foot inward (inversion), or bending the foot down (plantar flexion).

A person's reflexes may be abnormal, with weak or absent ankle-jerk reflex.

Causes

       Sciatica occurs when there is pressure or damage to the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in the spine and runs down the back of each leg. This nerve controls the muscles of the back of the knee and lower leg and provides sensation to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg, and the sole of the foot.

       Common causes of sciatica include:

      Piriformis syndrome (a pain disorder involving the narrow piriformis muscle in the buttocks)

      Slipped disc

      Degenerative disc disease

      Spinal stenosis

      Pelvic injury or fracture

      Tumours 



















Symptoms

       Sciatica pain can vary widely. It may feel like a mild tingling, dull ache, or a burning sensation. In some cases, the pain is severe enough to make a person unable to move.

       The pain most often occurs on one side. Some people have sharp pain in one part of the leg or hip and numbness in other parts. The sensations may also be felt on the back of the calf or on the sole of the foot. The affected leg may feel weak.

       The pain often starts slowly. Sciatica pain may get worse:

      After standing or sitting

      At night

      When sneezing, coughing, or laughing

      When bending backwards or walking more than a few yards, especially if caused by spinal stenosis

 

 

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