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What is Sciatica and What Causes Sciatic Pain? Sciatica is a symptom of a number of different conditions. Despite what you may think, it is actually not its own condition. Sciatic pain typically occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes compressed or irritated. Compression of the sciatic nerve can be caused by a number of things, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and more. The sciatic nerves, being the longest nerves in the human body, runs from the lower back through the buttocks and down the back of each leg. The pain is usually characterized by a shooting or burning [...]