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Sciatica is common term used to describe symptoms that radiate from the low back to the lower extremities. Sciatica can be incredibly painful as it involves nerve root irritation and the symptoms can manifest in a number of different ways. Some patients experience burning, numbing, tingling, shooting or stabbing types of pain. What determines what a patient will experience is dependent upon a variety of factors but predominantly it is related to the location of the nerve root irritation and the severity of it. Nerve root irritation and inflammation can also be caused by a variety of different lumbar spine conditions. These conditions can include degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, foraminal stenosis, facet hypertrophy (facet disease), bone spurs (osteophyte), and bulging or herniated discs. These conditions can all add up to significant narrowing of the canals that shelter the spinal cord and exiting nerve root branches. With sciatica it is important to always exhaust conservative treatment options before considering surgery. However, if pain persists or the symptoms worsen, and conservative care is no longer providing relief, surgery may be considered.