Skip to main content


Sciatica is a common type of pain affecting the sciatic nerve, a large nerve extending from the lower back down the back of each leg. Symptoms include pain in the buttocks or leg that is worse when sitting, burning or tingling down the leg. Occasionally weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot can occur. Sciatica usually affects only one side of the lower body.

webmd rm photo of lower back pain

Depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected, the pain may also extend to the foot or toes. For some people, the pain from sciatica can be severe and debilitating. For others, the sciatica pain might be infrequent and irritating, but has the potential to get worse.

Sciatica is caused by irritation of the root(s) of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine. Additional common causes of sciatica include: Lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back). Degenerative disc disease (breakdown of discs, which act as cushions between the vertebrae). Disc bulging or herniations. Spondylolisthesis (a condition in which one vertebra slips forward over another one) and pregnancy. Other things that may make your back pain worse include being overweight, not exercising regularly, wearing high heels, or sleeping on a mattress that is too soft on sitting on a thick wallet.

Dr. Breines has had very good success with this difficult condition. Treatment is focused on removing the inflammation around the nerve, reducing the muscle spasms that frequently occur as a consequence of this nerve irritation and increasing the disc spacing. Several types of treatments including traction, decompression, ultrasound and electrical stimulation along with specific stretches are very effective.