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The term sciatica refers to a type of radiculopathy, a pinching or compression of a nerve that occurs in the leg. Sciatica specifically refers to the radiculopathy that occurs when one or more of the nerves that make up the sciatic nerve are irritated or pinched. Sciatica is no different than a pinched nerve anywhere else in your spine but has its own name because it is fairly common. It also occurs in the lumbar spine which is also the most common site of spinal nerve irritation. The term sciatica is used to describe the pain that travels from the sciatic nerve in the lumbar region of your spine into your buttocks. It can also travel through the back of your thighs, and sometimes into your calf and foot.

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