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Dear NP

Dear NP,

I was recently diagnosed with sciatica. What causes it? I have tried numerous medications without any relief. What are some other alternatives for treatment? Will physical therapy help?

Dear Reader,

Sciatica is often caused when a herniated disc or overgrowth of bone (bone spurs) in the lower back puts pressure on a nerve. You might hear this called a “pinched nerve.”

This results in inflammation and pain that can travel from the lower back through the hips, buttocks, and even down the leg. The pain can vary from a mild ache to sharp or burning. It might even feel like an electric sho...