Ever since Cotugno described sciatica, this term has been loosely applied to any condition characterized by pain in the lower part of the back and lower limbs, regardless of the underlying cause and of the other clinical manifestations associated with the pain. One finds the term "sciatica" applied to designate such conditions as sciatic neuralgia, sciatic neuritis, sciatic radiculitis, meralgia paresthetica, lumbago, myalgia, myositis, and what not, as if all these conditions were one and the same clinical entity. As pain in the lower back and in one or both lower limbs is, in the majority of cases, merely a symptom-complex which may be present in various and different clinical entities, we would suggest that this symptom-complex be designated as the "sciatic syndrome."
Lack of knowledge of the pathology of the syndrome is most likely the cause of the existing confusion as to its clinical conception, and it remains for
GROSSMAN M, KESCHNER M. THE SCIATIC SYNDROME. Arch NeurPsych. 1929;21(2):398–411. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1929.02210200154014
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.