News  •  Classes & Events  •  About Us  •  Support Us  •  Contact Us  •  Directions
Advanced Search
diabetes mellitus Prolapsed disc
Cardiovascular/Circulatory Systems - Heart and Blood Osteoarthritis
sciatica Cataract Surgery
Diseases & Conditions Go Back


Sciatica is a symptom caused by a problem involving the sciatic nerve.  The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from your spinal cord through your buttock and hip area and down the back of each leg extending as far as the ankle. The term "sciatica" refers to pain that radiates along the path of this nerve. 


Sciatic nerve problems are considered a nerve root disorder.  Nerve roots come out of the spinal cord, delivering signals to and receiving signals from almost all parts of the body.  Nerve roots supply information or sensation to a particular part of the body.  Motor nerves stimulate muscles and the sensory nerves bring sensory information to the brain.  Identifying where a person feels pain or has loss of sensation allows a physician to determine which nerve root is affected.


A ruptured disc between vertebrae is the most common cause of nerve root damage.  The collapsed vertebrae may result when bones are weakened by cancer, osteoarthritis or severe injury.



Symptoms may include:


  • pain that may be caused by general compression and/or irritation of one of five nerve roots or by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve itself
  • weakness progressing to loss of feeling
  • impaired ability to control bowel movements or urinate

Treatment may include:


Copyright© 2001-2010 RWJ Hamilton - All Rights Reserved.  •  Privacy Policy •  Terms & Conditions
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Hamilton. Phone: 609-586-7900 Physician Referral: 609-584-5900.

Site Map