The sciatic nerve is found in the lower back (lumbar) where it begins and extends through the buttocks and eventually into the lower limbs. As the largest nerve in the human body, it also holds the distinction of being the widest and longest single nerve in humans. The nerve is so important, in fact, it is responsible for providing connection to the nervous system for nearly the entirety of the skin of the leg, the back and thigh muscles, as well as the muscles located in the foot and leg.
Besides the important connections, the sciatic nerve is also responsible for supplying the sensations to the foot skin plus all of the lower leg. It is also susceptible to the condition called sciatica which causes pain if the sciatic nerve becomes irritated or compressed. This condition can be caused by common spinal conditions such as lumbar spinal stenosis, spinal disc herniation (the leading cause), or spondylolisthesis, to name a few. Sciatica can also be caused by something as simple as sneezing or coughing or performing activities such as heavy lifting.
This update is brought to you by the Cantor Spine Institute, a minimally invasive spine surgery center located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We utilize groundbreaking ultrasonic techniques to treat a number of cervical and lumbar spine conditions including cervical disc herniation, ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament, spondylolisthesis, and more. For more information on minimally invasive spine surgery vs open surgery or to schedule a complimentary MRI review, please call 954-567-1332.