Sciatic pain or sciatica is a term for radiating pain, numbness, tingling or burning down the leg. The sciatic nerve runs from your low back down to your foot. The phrase sciatica developed from the pain path that runs in the same region as the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica is not a specific condition, meaning that it does not describe a specific injury. It is a general term for pain radiating down the leg. It is like saying car, instead of Jeep Wrangler. A car could mean a lot things to different people, but a jeep wrangler is very specific vehicle.
Aunt Jenny complains of pinching her sciatic nerve or low back disc that has bothered her for 15 years, but those probably are not the cause of her current low back pain. Sciatica can be caused by several different injuries including lumbar disc, sacroiliac sprains, piriformis syndrome, or lumbosacral sprains. There are less common causes of sciatica including nerve entrapments or nerve degeneration.
Every cause of radiating low back pain should be treated differently. So it is very important to have a proper evaluation and diagnosis so that you can treat your back pain and decrease your risk of future back pain.