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Do you have a sharp irritating pain through your lower back to the legs? That may be a symptom of sciatica. You may feel a burning sensation in your lower back and numbness in the back of your leg. The thing is not all lower back pain is sciatica. Sciatica originates only when there’s something wrong with your sciatic nerve. So, it is better to consult with a physiotherapist to know the exact source of your lower back pain. 

What Exactly is Sciatica? 

Sciatica occurs due to irritation of the sciatic nerve, the longest and widest nerve of the human body. 

The sciatic nerve provides sensation to most parts of the lower leg and controls multiple lower leg muscles. 

What are the Symptoms of Sciatica? 

As mentioned before, sciatica occurs whenever the sciatic nerve is irritated. And sciatica nerve starts in the lower back, runs through the buttocks and lower leg and ends above the knees. So, shooting pain anywhere near the sciatic nerve is the main symptom. 

You may also feel numbness in the back of the legs or a tingling sensation in the toes and feet. Talk to a professional as soon as you notice the symptoms. 

What Causes Sciatica? 

Sciatica is not exactly a condition. It is a symptom of some other underlying medical condition. That condition compresses the sciatic nerve causing pain. 

So, the common causes are: 

Herniated disks 

The spinal column has three parts- vertebrae, nerves and discs. The discs have cartilage around them that acts as a cushion between each disc. Herniated discs occur when one of the discs falls out of its place and compresses the sciatic nerve. 


This occurs when a disk slips forward and eventually exerts pressure on the sciatic nerve. 

Other causes 

The other causes include lumbar spinal stenosis and injuries within the spine. 

A physiotherapist assesses your condition and detects the exact source of the pain. They then prescribe specific exercises to help you return to a healthy lifestyle. 

What Role Does Physiotherapy Play?

Physiotherapy is usually the preferred treatment option for the symptoms of sciatica. Thus, it is recommended to visit a physiotherapy clinic as soon as you feel the symptoms. 

The benefits of physiotherapy are: 

  • Relieves the symptoms 
  • Promotes the natural healing of the underlying cause 
  • Prevents further flareups 
  • Restores optimal mobility 
  • Reduces pain and muscle spasms 
  • Protects the lower back 

You can reap the benefits of physiotherapy if you follow the instructions of the professional throughout the treatment. Sciatica is a painful symptom. But, with the right physiotherapy exercises, you can get rid of the problem efficiently.