Hi ly_b and vibration man
Welcome ly_b....but sorry you are in pain. Sciatica is a symptom of a nerve impingement at the L4-L5-S1 levels. This is where the sciatic nerve 'begins' (from these levels). The pain will go through your bum and down to your toes. When it's real bad...the pain goes from your toes to your nose (as I used to say). The feeling of your legs being "alive" is a good statement, as they are. The nerve endings are screaming but the messages are getting re-routed to other nerves...causing the twitching, and buzzy feelings. All of this can be calmed down a bit. I'll give you a few suggestions in a minute.
Vibration man stated he had a bulge at the L4/L5 region. This is in-line with my statement above. He is correct in recommending you get an MRI and pay attention to the levels I mentioned. Don't stress you lower back...this means don't sit for longer than 10 minutes (or for as long as you can tolerate) at a time. Get up and stretch then sit again. Maybe standing feels better for you, do more of that. You can eat standing, write standing....pretty much everything. If laying down is the way to relieve your pain...print out email messages and read them while laying down. Set up your computer so you can be horizontal while working (this can be done with pretty much any system you currently have). Whatever works for you...do it. But change is definitely in order here, because the goal is to decrease your sciatic episodes right now.
A few suggestions:
(1) ICE - ICE - ICE. Ice the L4-S1 area with a gel ice pack for 20 minutes at a time. This will decrease the swelling and thus, allow more room for the nerves and pathways to function more properly. You can do this every hour (after the last 20 minutes) until your back is good and numb. Never put the ice on skin. Always have a layer of protection between ice pack and skin.
(2) PELVIC TILTS. Performing pelvic tilts correctly will open up more room in the L4-S1 region. To do them right you will need to lay horizontal on your back with your knees up. No pillows but be comfortable--I do them on my bed (and standing and driving now too) but for now, start horizontal. Imagine your belly button touching your spine. Don't try to move hips or abdomen or anything. Just imagine your belly button touching your spine. Then release. That is a pelvic tilt. Do a set of 6 and do 3 sets at a time. If anything causes a sharp pain stop immediately--your injury isn't ready for them. But this is the most gentle movements you can do for yourself...you may very well have a serious problem if there is sharp pain with these slight movements.
(3) MYOCALM. This is an herbal remedy that seems to pinpoint it's relief on the sciatic nerve....the biggest nerve in our bodies. What it did for me is it took the BITE out of the sciatic pain. It took the "alive" feeling away. Try herbal shops or look it up on the web on where to purchase it. It is hard to find. I was able to take this medication along with my vicodin and soma and anti-inflammatory medications. It's stinky (a little)...but it worked for me.
(4) ALTERNATIVE HEALING ARTS. I have found out of all the alternative healing arts the best one for sciatica is acupuncture. It gets right to the nerve. You may find some relief with massage therapy, acupressure or one of those arts. But acupuncture is the most direct. You may want to look into it.
I hope some of these remedies are helpful to you. Relief of the nerve being impinged may completely relieve your sciatica. But in the meantime...these suggestions are all I can give at this time.