Sciatica is characterized by pain in the lower back that radiates down one or both legs. The pain is described as dull, achy, sharp, like “pins and needles” or similar to electric shocks. Other symptoms associated with sciatica include burning, numbness and tingling sensations. Sciatic nerve pain varies in intensity from mild to severe, and frequency may range from occasional to constant. The onset is generally gradual and not necessarily associated with a previous event.
Sciatica is also known as radiating or referred pain, neuropathy, or neuralgia.