: pain along the course of a sciatic nerve especially in the back of the thigh caused by compression, inflammation, or reflex mechanisms; broadly: pain in the lower back, buttocks, hips, or adjacent parts
Pain along the course of the sciatic nerve, from the lower back down each leg. It often begins after lower back strain and is associated with spinal disk herniation. Pain is increased by coughing, sneezing, or bending the neck forward. Muscle relaxants, painkillers, and nerve stimulation are among the treatments, but surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve is needed if pain is disabling or nerve function is progressively disturbed (with leg weakness and loss of feeling). Rarely, sciatica arises from other causes of nerve compression (e.g., tumour) or disorders involving the peripheral nervous system.