Sciatica is a general term that describes several possible symptoms in your lower back, hip and leg caused by sciatic nerve dysfunction, including pain that radiates down your leg, decreased sensation in your lower extremity and leg weakness. Sciatica is a set of symptoms caused by compression or irritation of certain spinal nerve roots – branches of your spinal cord that exit your spine through gaps between your vertebrae. Sciatic nerve pain is a symptom of an underlying health problem, not a medical diagnosis and it is most likely to occur in people between the ages of 30 and 50 years, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
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