Picture of Sciatica
The sciatic nerve runs the buttock to the back of the thigh. When this nerve is irritated it produces a pain known as sciatica. A herniated disc may press on the nerve producing these symptoms. Inflammation or irritation of the nerve may also result in sciatica. The condition is diagnosed by taking a medical history and performing nerve tests and a physical exam. X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to detect a herniated disk that might be contributing to symptoms. Medication, physical therapy, and restricting movement may help relieve sciatic pain. In rare cases, surgery may be performed.
Text Reference: BMJ, vol. 334, 2007: "Diagnosis and Treatment of Sciatica"