WebMD lists the main symptoms of sciatica as pain in the leg or buttocks that worsens when sitting, burning or tingling in the leg, constant one-sided pain on the backside, shooting pains when standing, leg weakness or numbness, or difficulty moving legs and feet.
Sciatica is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, a large nerve extending from the lower back down the back of each leg, states WebMD. This usually is caused by irritation to the roots of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine. In most patients, sciatica pain only affects one side of the body, but generally extends from the lower back all the way down through the thigh and back of the leg. In some cases the pain may extend into the foot and toes. Pain levels range from mild and irritating to severe and debilitating, depending on how much pressure exists on the nerve.
Other conditions that may cause sciatica include degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis (when a vertebrae slips forward over another), and lumbar spinal stenosis, or the narrowing of the spinal canal, states WebMD. Sciatic nerve pain also can be triggered by pregnancy, excessive weight, improper exercise or by wearing high-heeled shoes or sleeping on a soft mattress.