An illustration of a person's spineWhat is Sciatica?

Sciatica is leg pain often due to pressure on a nerve in your low back that connects to the sciatic nerve. This pressure may be caused by a damaged disc or by abnormal bone growth. You may feel pain, burning, tingling or numbness that shoots down your leg.

What Causes Sciatica?

Frequently, sciatica is caused by a herniated disc in the spine that presses on the sciatic nerve. Other causes that may put pressure on the sciatic nerve may include the following:

  • Obesity
  • Poor posture
  • Tumor or abscess
  • Blood clot
  • Awkward sitting position
  • Nerve disorders


The most common symptoms of sciatica include lower back pain that radiates down the buttock and back of the thigh, pain that extends from the buttock down to the foot, numbness and weakness.


In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for sciatica may include the following:

  • X-ray
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Electromyography and nerve conduction study (EMG and NCS)


Sciatica usually heals on its own with rest and time. To help relieve the pain, treatment may include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Heat or cold applications to the sore muscles
  • Movement (keeping your body in motion minimizes inflammation)
  • Surgery (to repair a herniated disc if one is present and if the condition persists)

Contact Us

BayCare offers minimally invasive spine surgery at locations throughout the Tampa Bay area. If you have pain in your neck, back, legs or arms, your doctor can determine if conservative treatments are right for you or if you are a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery. BayCare proudly serves patients in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Safety Harbor, Dunedin, New Port Richey, Plant City, Winter Haven, Lutz and the surrounding areas. 

For more information or a referral to a doctor who performs minimally invasive spine surgery, call (855) 314-8347 or find a doctor near you.