Sciatica is a condition of the lower back caused by pressure on and/or injury to the sciatic nerve, which can occur as a result of a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or a number of other injuries to the lower spine. As the sciatic nerve is the largest in the human body, moving from the lumbar spine down the back of the legs, any injury to it can be debilitating. In those affected by sciatica, the sensation normally provided by the sciatic nerve is impeded, with pain and/or tingling that extends from the lower back to the back of one leg being the distinguishing symptom. The level of pain associated with sciatica can vary, but is often significant enough that affected individuals seek prompt treatment.
Cortisone injections can be used for the relief of inflammation and corresponding pain caused by sciatica. Because cortisone can cause complications when used in excess around the back, it is used judiciously.
Initially, rest will be recommended to alleviate the immediate symptoms of sciatica. Following that, a physical therapy rehabilitation program may be initiated for you by a pain clinic, with the goal of strengthening the back muscles and developing flexibility.