Why it Matters:
Not all of the top causes of sciatica are injury driven in the traditional sense.
Natural changes that occur as we age, the pressure of gravity, and even stenosis (narrowing of the spinal column) can also contribute to the development of compressed or "pinched" nerves and sciatica pain.
The two sciatic nerves (or, more specifically, nerve bundles) are the longest nerves in the body and for that reason, there are lots of opportunities for either one to become irritated.
These are the major nerves to your legs, and they provide the sensation and motor fibers that allow you to stand up, walk, and run.
That should give you a better idea of how any irritation to either sciatic nerve related to the top causes of sciatica can result in those very noticeable and often disruptive symptoms.
Think of your nerves like small, high-powered electrical lines.
They transmit signals from the power station — your central nervous system — out to all of the muscles, organs, and cells in your body.
The electrical lines or nerves in your low back travel down your hips, buttocks, and legs to your feet to your toes.
If the nerve is irritated at the power station, it will affect everything along the path of that line.
That is why a spinal disc irritating a nerve in your low back can result in pain down into your leg!
Sciatica pain can occur at any point along the course of either sciatic nerve depending on where the irritation exists, and it can then radiate from there.
It’s possible to experience sciatica symptoms without low back pain.
It’s possible the pain in your leg isn’t related to an impingement of its sciatic nerve.