Sciatica refers to back pain caused by a problem with the sciatic nerve. This is a large nerve that runs from the lower back down the back of each leg. When something injures or puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, it can cause pain in the lower back that spreads to the hip, buttocks, and leg. Up to 90% of people recover from sciatica without surgery. The most common symptom of sciatica is lower back pain that extends through the hip and buttock and down one leg. The pain usually affects only one leg and may get worse when you sit, cough, or sneeze. The leg may also feel numb, weak, or tingly at times. The symptoms of sciatica tend to appear suddenly and can last for days or weeks.
The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disk. Disks act like cushions between the vertebrae of your spine. These disks get weaker as you age and become more vulnerable to injury. Sometimes the gel-like center of a disk pushes through its outer lining and presses on the roots of the sciatic nerve. About 1 in 50 people will get a herniated disk at some point in life.
Neck pain is any time your neck hurts. It’s a common problem with lots of causes.
Your neck has a tough job. It holds up the same weight as a bowling ball all day long. The bones at the top of your spine, along with your muscles and ligaments, support your head, which weighs about 11 pounds.
It can be a delicate balance. Things like sleeping wrong and bad posture can cause neck pain, as more than one-quarter of American adults can tell you. It isn’t usually a symptom of a more serious health problem.
If your neck hurts, you may notice other symptoms including: pain that gets worse when you hold your head a certain way while working on a computer, driving, or doing other tasks, muscle tightness or spasms, trouble moving your neck or head, headache.
Treatments could include muscle relaxants, physical therapy, a padded neck collar, or traction.
In rare situations, you may need shots of cortisone or even surgery.
With treatment, your neck will usually stop hurting in a few days.