What is it?
Sciatica is pain that travels from the back and down the sciatic nerve. Pain can travel to the back, the buttock, through the hamstrings, into the calf and the foot. Sciatic pain usually affects only one lower extremity.
Sciatica usually results from compression or inflammation of the sciatic nerve at one or more points as it travels down the leg. A second cause could be a herniation of a low back disk, causing compression at the nerve root.
If left untreated sciatic pain can get progressively worse, can cause alterations in sensation or strength in the lower extremity.