Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

A substantial nerve begins in the lower portion of the spine and passes through the pelvis on its path to the rear of the leg, connecting receptor and effector cells there to the spinal cord. Sciatica is a condition wherein pain occurring in the leg may cover the entire nerve, ranging from the buttocks down to the foot. Typically, a slipped disc in the spine presses against the base of the nerve, causing pain or numbness in the leg.

SCIATIC NERVE: "When I was pregnant, the baby pressed on my sciatic nerve, causing intense pain."

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