As many as 40% of people will get sciatica, or irritation of the sciatic nerve, at some point in their life. This nerve comes from either side of the lower spine and travels through the pelvis and buttocks. Then the nerve passes along the back of each upper leg before it divides at the knee into branches that go to the feet.

Anything that puts pressure on or irritates this nerve can cause pain that shoots down the back of one buttock or thigh. The sensation of pain can vary widely. Sciatica may feel like a mild ache; a sharp, burning sensation; or extreme discomfort. Sciatica can also cause feelings of numbness, weakness, and tingling.

Pain may be made worse by prolonged sitting, standing up, coughing, sneezing, twisting, lifting, or straining. Treatment for sciatic pain ranges from hot and cold packs and medications to exercises and complementary and alternative remedies.


  1. Sciatica is often an inflammatory response to a herniated disc.  Therefor, often this is treated with steroids or injections.  Your doctor may suggest an individualized plan according to your needs.
  2. Often sciatica will also be treated with anti-epileptic drugs which reduce the irritation on the sciatic nerve.
  3. Epidural steroid injections may be the first step in reducing severe sciatica pain which can expedite recovery and get you back to your daily activities.