Sciatica is an umbrella term used to describe feelings of pain in the lower back, buttock, leg, or foot, as well as muscle weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg. These symptoms are associated with compression, irritation, or inflammation of one of the five roots that comprise the sciatic nerve, or of the sciatic nerve itself.
The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body. It begins from nerve roots in the lumbar (lower back) spine and extends to send nerve endings down the legs.
Sciatica is often the result of a misalignment in the lower spine. This type of subluxation can pinch the root of the sciatic nerve, causing pressure and pain. There are a number of different causes of sciatica, however; it is extremely important to identify the causative factor before starting treatment.