What is the Sciatic Nerve?
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from your spinal cord to your buttock and hip area and down the back of each leg. The term "sciatica" refers to pain that radiates along the path of this nerve — from your back down your buttock and leg. Sciatica isn't a disorder in and of itself. Instead, sciatica is a symptom of another problem involving the nerve, such as a herniated disc.
Some symptoms of sciatica include pain, numbness or muscle weakness, tingling, and a loss of bladder control. Risk factors that could lead to these symptoms are old age, prolonged sitting, diabetes, and an occupation that requires you to twist your back or carry heavy loads often. Sciatica sometimes goes away on its own, but there are other treatments your doctor may recommend.