The Problem Isn't Always Where It Hurts...Sciatica
Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
In evaluating patients in the office, we doctors must always keep a very open mind. For example, when a patient says that their problem is located in a certain area, they may use laymen's terminology that is technically inaccurate, they may have forgotten certain characteristics of the condition because of lack of sleepor pain, or the problem may feel like it comes from a certain location yet it may actually be coming from an area of the body far from where it is perceived. This last situation is commonly the case when a person has sciatica.
Sciatica is pain resulting from irritation of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica pain is typically felt from the low backto behind the thigh and radiating down below the knee. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and begins from nerve roots in the lumbar spinal cord in the low back and extends through the buttock area to send nerve endings down the lower limb.