The irritation of the sciatic nerve that causes pain along the area where the nerve travels, is called sciatica. Sciatic nerve is the largest and thickest nerve in the body that arises in the lower back, travels through the buttock, thigh and goes upto the feet via the leg. It performs the normal function of transmitting signals and electric currents towards and away from the brain and keeps the brain informed about the position and safety of our lower limbs and allows us painfree movement.
In Sciatica, the pain moves down from the lower back, through the hips and thighs to the legs. It is somewhat different from a typical backpain as the pain does not remain limited to back and instead travels down the thigh and legs. It is one of the worst types of pain known to mankind. The pain can vary from occasional discomfort to moderate degree of pain to severe disabling pain that does not allow a person to do even the most basic of life functions.
At times, the pain is extremely excruciating that it feels like a electric shock and patients may feel like getting the leg chopped off to get rid of the pain.
The signs and symptoms of sciatica occur normally on one side of the body though it is not necessary. People who have mild sciatica improve on their own, slowly and gradually by natural recovery process. A spine specialist doctor should be consulted for advice on treatment and self care measures so that the pain can be lessened. Investigations like MRI scan and further attention maybe needed if the pain does not reduce within a week despite taking medications.