Sciatica is most often experienced as pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg, occurring when there is pressure or damage to the sciatic nerve. This nerve begins in the spine and drops down the back of each leg, controlling the muscles of the back of the knee and lower leg and providing sensation to parts of the thigh, lower leg and foot.
Sciatica pain will vary widely in different people since the conditions causing sciatica and back pain vary as well. Symptoms will range from a dull ache or tingling to pain severe enough to impair movement. Pain, numbness or weakness will most often occur on one side of your body and may be felt in parts of your leg or hip, back of the calf or sole of the foot. Sciatica pain may worsen after standing or sitting, at the end of the day, when sneezing or laughing, walking or bending backwards.
There are a lot of Sciatica treatments which run the gamut of more conservative approaches like physical therapy, all the way to surgery. If you are suffering from symptoms of sciatica, consider giving conservative treatment a try before committing to the more extreme alternative - some estimate that 80% of sciatica patients with displaced discs get better without surgery. Undoubtedly, many people are helped by conservative treatment, but it's hard to say how many and how quickly. Evidence from past clinical trials has been somewhat thin and often contradictory.