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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a condition that causes pain along your sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs from your spine through both sides of your buttocks. It then runs down the back of your thigh, into your lower leg and foot. Any place along your sciatic nerve may be compressed, inflamed, irritated, or stretched.


What causes sciatica?

Sciatica may be related to certain activities, poor posture, and physical or psychological stress. Any of the following may cause or increase your risk for sciatica:

What are the signs and symptoms of sciatica?

The symptoms of sciatica may be short-term or long-term:

How is sciatica diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about other health conditions you may have. Tell your provider about your job, history of back pain, diseases, or surgeries you have had. Your provider will examine you and move your legs to see what increases pain. You may also need any of the following:

How is sciatica treated?

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

How can I help manage sciatica?

How can sciatica be prevented?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Learn more about Sciatica

Treatment options

Care guides

Symptoms and treatments guides (external)

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.