Pain from an injury or irritation to a nerve’s root as it exits from the vertebrae may radiate down the leg toward the right or left foot. One can feel weakness or numbness in the affected area. Known as lumbar radiculopathy, the condition could be caused by a narrow spinal canal or stenosis, or from a disc that is displaced and compressing the nerve. The intensity of pain varies dramatically, from a dull non-localized ache to a precise sharp and burning sensation.
Sciatica is a type of lumbar radiculopathy that affects the large sciatic nerve, where nerve roots come together in the buttock. Sciatica pain is a sharp, often shooting sensation that radiates down from the buttock to the back of the thigh and into the leg. It often feels like a stabbing pain deep in the buttock and grows worse with sitting.