Quite often when someone gets back and leg pain they report that they have sciatica. Sciatic is the name of a collection of nerve roots that come out of the low back. Everyone has a sciatic nerve. Its not a problem unless the nerve itself is injured. Strictly speaking since the sciatic nerve trunk does not form until well after the nerve roots exit the spine saying you have sciatica means that your sciatic nerve is causing you pain and not your spine. In order for that to happen (and it can) you would have to have leg pain but no back pain. There are several reasons why this might occur. Maybe you sat on your wallet, a cell phone, or a rock that created pressure. Maybe the piriformis muscle, which crosses from the sacrum to hip, went into spasm and squeezed the sciatic nerve on its course into your leg. In the end the list of things that can cause true sciatica is quite long and so treatment for it varies depending upon the source. The vast majority of sciatica patients however do not require surgery as conservative and focused care directed to the source is effective. Learn more about sciatica and its treatment options at piedmontpmr.com.