Sciatica is the name given to any pain caused by the irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, running from the back of the pelvis, down to the feet. Pain from sciatica is not just limited to the back but also travels down the buttocks and into the legs.
Acute sciatica lasts for no longer than six weeks and should not require treatment. Chronic sciatica lasts for significantly longer and can require medical intervention.