Q:

What is the sciatic nerve?

A:

Quick Answer

The sciatic nerve is the primary nerve that runs down the back of the leg. It branches from the lower spine and runs the entire length of the leg and foot.

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Full Answer

Because of its length and direct connection to the spine, the sciatic nerve is vulnerable to pain from multiple causes. Lumbar spine injury are a cause of pain in the sciatic nerve; when the discs swell due to injury, they compress the nerve. Muscle injury in the leg and hip is also a cause of sciatic nerve pain. Sciatic nerve injury sometimes spreads to the entire leg, causing numbness, pain and weakness.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the path of the sciatic nerve?

    A:

    The sciatic nerve originates in the lower spine with nerve roots that exit the spinal cord, and it extends down the back of the body from the legs to the toes, notes Spine-Health.com. It exits the spinal cord through gaps in the bones found in the lower spine.

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  • Q:

    Where is the sciatic nerve?

    A:

    The sciatic nerve begins in the lower portion of the spine, traces through the buttocks and down each leg, according to MedlinePlus. This nerve controls muscles at the knee and in the lower leg. It is responsible for feeling in the foot, lower leg and back of the thigh.

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  • Q:

    How can you treat sciatic nerve pain when you're pregnant?

    A:

    To treat sciatic nerve pain, pregnant women should lie on the reverse side of the pain to alleviate pressure on the sciatic nerve, advises American Pregnancy Association. Lifting heavy objects and standing for long periods should be avoided.

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  • Q:

    What causes sciatic nerve and knee pain?

    A:

    Sciatica, a set of symptoms due to pressure on or damage to the sciatic nerve, is commonly caused by a slipped disk, pelvic injury, spinal stenosis and tumors, according to MedlinePlus. Sciatica may cause tingling, weakness or numbness in the legs.

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