The web browser you are using will no longer be supported by Cigna.com. To continue accessing the site without interruption, please upgrade your browser to the most recent version.
Sciatica

Sciatica

Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It is formed by nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord in the lower back. The nerve goes down through the buttock, and then its branches extend down the back of the leg to the ankle and foot.

A herniated disc may press on one or more of the nerve roots that form the sciatic nerve. Pressure on one of these nerve roots will often cause symptoms of sciatica, such as pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling in the affected leg.

A herniated disc is the most common cause of sciatica. But sciatica can also be a symptom of other problems. These include a narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis), pressure on a nerve root from an injury, and certain rare tumors.

Current as of: June 26, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review:

William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine

Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine

Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine

Kenneth J. Koval MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma

Robert B. Keller MD - Orthopedics