If you have ever experienced sciatica, you know how it can throw off your game. Sciatica is pain from the sciatic nerve in the leg. The symptoms are numbness, tingling and sharp pain from the back, buttock and into the lower extremity (calf and possibly into the foot) along the posterior (or rear) and lateral (side) of the leg.

Many people feel they have sciatica when they have sharp pain in the low back, buttock or thigh, not including the lower part of the leg or foot. However, they have a nerve pain along a different nerve. Sciatica always affects the individual below their knee.

Sciatica has many different causes:
* Disc herniation in the lumbar spine
* Compression of the sciatic nerve, sometimes by muscle tension
* Compression of a dorsal nerve root leading to the sciatic nerve
* During pregnancy, compression of the nerve by the uterus, or pressure of the uterus on the soft tissue or compensatory postural changes, compressing nerves.

One very effective technique for improving sciatica is NUCCA. With NUCCA, the posture is improved, which has been shown to balance the vertebrae on the discs, thereby often reducing disc herniations. Because of the postural improvements, NUCCA also relaxes the muscles, and can often eliminate pressure on the nerve.

Other methods to aid in solving sciatica are:
* Massage
* Acupuncture
* Ultrasound and Physical Therapy
* Stretching – make sure not to stretch hamstring with the leg straight. It’s best to get stretches from your physical therapist.

How long sciatica has been present will determine how the nervous system will respond to the lack of painful stimuli. If the nerves have been sending the pain stimulus for weeks or months, it will often take time before the chronic pain patterns are removed from the nerve pathways. For this reason, it is important to deal with sciatica (or other nerve pain) as soon as possible after the initial onset.