Sciatica is a very common condition where a person experiences pain along the sciatic nerve. This pain can radiate from the lower back into the hips, buttocks, and legs. It is usually caused by a bone spur or herniated disc, and typically only affects one side of the body. For many, the pain from sciatica can be debilitating.
Imaging studies are usually needed to diagnose the cause of sciatic nerve pain. An MRI of the lumbar spine will show many causes of low back pain and sciatica, including disc herniations, facet arthritis, and lumbar spinal stenosis. Digital x-rays and CT scans may also be used to diagnose the cause of sciatica. Once the cause of the pain is identified, treatment options can be explored by your physician..