Sciatica Nerve: A Comprehensive Guide
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a painful condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down the buttocks and legs. When the sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed, it can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the leg.
Prevalence and Impact of sciatica
Sciatica is a common condition, affecting up to 40% of people at some point in their lives. It is more common in people between the ages of 30 and 50. Sciatica can have a significant impact on quality of life, making it difficult to work, exercise, and enjoy everyday activities.
Anatomy of the Sciatic Nerve
The sciatic nerve is formed by the roots of the L4, L5, S1, and S2 spinal nerves. It exits the pelvis through the greater sciatic foramen and runs down the back of the thigh. The sciatic nerve branches into smaller nerves that supply the muscles, skin, and joints of the leg and foot.