Sciatica refers to pain that radiates through the sciatic nerve – the nerve that runs from the spinal cord to the buttock and hips and down the back of each leg. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. Sciatic pain can range from mild to intense, and can sometimes persist for several weeks.
Sciatica isn’t a disorder in itself, but is a symptom of a problem affecting the nerve, most commonly a slipped (or herniated disk). Another cause of sciatica is spinal stenosis –a narrowing of the nerve passages in the spine, causing the spinal discs start to become brittle, resulting in a greater likelihood disc injury. Less commonly, sciatica may also be caused by infection, injury or a tumour.
Treatment can include one or more of the following:
- Strengthening exercises
- Compression packs
- Heat and ice therapy
- Change of sleeping position
- Anti-inflammatory painkillers
- Steroid injections
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Surgery – if symptoms persist
How can we help you?