It's usually caused when a herniated disk or bone spur in the spine presses on the nerve.

Pain originates in the spine and radiates down the back of the leg. Sciatica typically affects only one side of the body.

Treatments include self-care, medication such as anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) or muscle relaxants, physical therapy, and rarely surgery.

Pain radiating along the sciatic nerve, which runs down one or both legs from the lower back.

Consult a doctor for medical advice

Sources:  Mayo Clinic and others.

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Cases per year

More than 3 million US cases per year

Treatable by a medical professional

Usually self-diagnosable

Lab tests or imaging rarely required

Medium-term: resolves within months

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