Sciatica refers to symptoms of scorching or electric jolt-like pain that discharges from the sciatic nerve of the lumbar spine and vibrates down through the backside of either leg.
The largest and longest nerve in the human body, your sciatic nerve extends from L3-L5 of your lower back and serves the muscles of your buttocks, thighs, and calves. Terminating all the way down in your toes, your sciatic nerve also enables sensation in your legs and feet.
Because your sciatic nerve occupies such prime real estate in your lower body, a pinched sciatic nerve can make everyday activities—such as standing, sitting, lifting, or extending the back—extremely uncomfortable.
Sciatic nerve compression can result from a wide range of underlying causes. Common causes of sciatica may include: A bulging, ruptured, or herniated disc in the lumbar spine; Degenerative Disc Disease; piriformis syndrome; spinal stenosis (or narrowing of the spinal canal); or spondylolisthesis (a slipped lumbar vertebra)—among many others!