The sciatic nerve is a nerve that begins in the lower back and travels through the buttock and into the leg and then into the foot and is the longest and widest nerve in the human body. The sciatic nerve is made up of five lumbosacral nerve roots, L4, L5, S1, S2, and S3.
Technically, the sciatic nerve is a nerve. When a nerve causes symptoms, the technical term is neuritis or neuropathy. Therefore, technically, signs and symptoms attributed to the sciatic nerve are called sciatic neuritis or sciatic neuropathy. However, most people and most health care providers simply refer to it as sciatica.
Pain can originate in the lower back and extend into the buttock, back of the thigh and leg, and even into the foot. Sciatica is usually only on one side affecting the right or left leg.
Sciatic nerve healing is achieved by taking pressure off the nerve when compressed, reducing inflammation when inflamed, and healed when irritated or damaged. Treatment could involve one or several of the following depending on need: spinal adjustments to get pressure off the sciatic nerve, Graston technique to un-pinch the sciatic nerve under an overly tight piriformis muscle in the buttock, or laser to promote deep healing to the sciatic nerve.