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Also called sciatic neuritis, sciatica is pain in the buttocks and legs, caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower back. Pain radiates along the sciatic nerve, running down one or both legs. It can range from being mild to moderate and even severe. Find out more about its causes, symptoms and treatment below.

Women hands pressing against her lower back suggesting pain


The most common causes of sciatica are the following:


  • Herniated disk (disc bulge)
  • Osteophytes (bone spurs)
  • Stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
  • Piriformis syndrome (due to tight buttock muscle)
  • Spondylolisthesis (slipped vertebra)
  • Age related changes to the spine
  • Obesity
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Diabetes
  • Working conditions (heavy loads picked up or repetitive twisting of the spine)


Please note that every patient is different so symptoms can vary. You may experience a combination of the following or just one:

  • Pain, inflammation & numbness in your affected leg
  • Tingling or weakness in your other leg
  • Mid ache to excruciating pain
  • Sharp, burning sensation
  • Sensation of pins and needles


Treating sciatica depends on the length and severity of your symptoms. Mild sciatica usually goes away with time. For other types of sciatica, the following treatments are available:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Avoidance of provocative activities
  • Pain and anti-inflammatory medication
  • Lifestyle changes – Diet and exercise
  • Surgery (only in the most severe of cases)

If your pain continues for longer than a week, it’s a good idea to visit a physiotherapist to discuss options for sciatic pain relief.

Recovery Time

Your recovery is entirely dependent on the extent of your injury along with lifestyle factors, health and age.

Keep in mind that while it’s not always possible to prevent sciatica and the condition may recur, there are some measures you can take to protect your back health, including exercising regularly, maintaining proper posture when you sit and lifting heavy loads properly. Muscle strengthening exercises can help too in preventing sciatica from coming back.

Stop suffering from sciatica and get a proper treatment plan from one of our expert physiotherapists. Contact us today and we will be more than happy to restore you to better health.

Senior woman exercising with her physiotherapist and swiss ball

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