Sciatica is a generic term that refers to irritation of the sciatic nerve (the largest nerve in the body). Many people present to the office with complaints of hip pain. Unlike hip arthritis or bursitis, sciatica typically produces pain in the upper buttock area which radiates down the back of the leg. Many patients do not have accompanying low back pain, and often think they have a problem with their hip joint. The problem has many causes but most commonly is due to irritation of the nerves as they exit from the lumbar spine from arthritis in the lower back. Most cases are self limited and resolve within 8-12 weeks. Treatment centers on the use of anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and activity modification.