Sciatica is the term for low back pain that radiates into the buttock, hip, and down one leg to the foot. The pain often is associated with tingling, numbness, or weakness of the leg. It may be sudden in onset and can persist for days or weeks. Sciatica can be caused by a number of conditions that lead to compression or irritation of nerves as they exit the spinal canal (space through which the spinal cord travels) in the region of the lower back where they come together to form the sciatic nerves at the end of the spinal column. People who get sciatica are usually between the ages of 30 and 50 years. Approximately 80% to 90% of people with sciatica recover over time without any surgical intervention. The July 8, 2009, issue of JAMA includes an article about surgical treatment for sciatica caused by a herniated disk.