This term is commonly used to describe pain in the leg or buttock. Often the cause of this pain is the lower back, which is irritating the nerves, for example from injury to a disc. True sciatica, from sciatic nerve entrapment or irritation, can cause severe pain or burning in the leg, pins and needles, numbness and weakness or any combination of these unpleasant symptoms.
Sciatic pain can also occur due to spasm of a muscle deep in the buttock, known as the piriformis, which can also trap the nerve. The condition can mimic that of a disc injury, but is usually much easier to correct with osteopathic treatment.