What is a sciatic nerve?

You have a sciatic nerve on each side of your body. They are the longest and widest nerves in your body. They run from your lower spine through your hips and buttocks down to the backs of your knees. From there, the sciatic nerves branch out and extend down to your feet. When there is a problem with one of your sciatic nerves, pain can radiate throughout the length of it and travel all the way down to your foot. The pain that develops is referred to as sciatica.

The sciatic nerve runs from the spine down the back of the leg to the foot. Pressure on the nerve from a herniated disk can cause a pain called sciatica. Watch to learn more about the sciatic nerve and sciatica.

Most Common Causes of Lower Back Pain

Continue Learning about Sciatica


Sciatica is when you have pain, weakness or tingling that radiates down your leg. It is usually caused by disc problems in your spinal column but can also be caused by other problems. The pain involved in sciatica can vary from a ...

mild tingling to severe, disabling pain. It usually occurs on one side. Because sciatica is a symptom, the cause of the problem needs to be discovered and treated. If you have severe sciatica, you may want to consult a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in the nervous system.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.