The term "Sciatica" can include a number of different resulting conditions all stemming from a root cause. Sciatica is a set of symptoms including pain caused by general compression and/or irritation of one of five spinal nerve roots, or irritation of the left or right or both sciatic nerves.
You will notice a burning sensation, numbness, or tingling radiating from the lower back and upper buttock down the back of the thigh to the back of the leg. Sciatica can make walking difficult if not impossible.
X-rays, films, and other tests, such as CT scan, MRI scan, and electromyogram can be used to further define the exact causes of sciatica. The image and resolution produced by MRI is quite detailed and can detect tiny changes of structures within the body. For some procedures, contrast agents, such as gadolinium, are used to increase the accuracy of the images.