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Sciatica

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Sciatica

Sciatica is the name given to any sort of pain that is caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from the back of your pelvis, through your buttocks, and all the way down both legs, ending at your feet.

 When something compresses or irritates the sciatic nerve, it can cause a pain that radiates out from your lower back and travels down your leg to your calf.  Sciatic pain can range from being mild to very painful. A slipped disc is the most common identified cause of sciatica, but in some cases there is no obvious cause.

Make An Enquiry

To ask a question, make an enquiry or book an appointment, contact our specialist orthopaedic team who are available between Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm. Our spine team have a dedicated and caring approach and will seek to find you the earliest appointment possible with the correct specialist for your needs.

 If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP. You can simply refer yourself and book an appointment.

If you have medical insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa PPP, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation for any treatment and, in most cases, you will require a referral letter from your GP.

If you do not have a GP, then we have an in-house private GP practice that you can use. Alternatively we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstance.

Make an Enquiry

Sciatica

Sciatica is the name given to any sort of pain that is caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from the back of your pelvis, through your buttocks, and all the way down both legs, ending at your feet.

When something compresses or irritates the sciatic nerve, it can cause a pain that radiates out from your lower back and travels down your leg to your calf.  Sciatic pain can range from being mild to very painful.

A slipped disc is the most common identified cause of sciatica, but in some cases there is no obvious cause.

Types Of Sciatica

There are two types of sciatica:

  • acute sciatica, which lasts up to six weeks
  • persistent (chronic) sciatica, which lasts longer than six weeks

Most cases of acute sciatica will pass without the need for treatment. A combination of self-help measures such as over-the-counter painkillers, exercise and hot or cold packs can usually relieve the symptoms.

For persistent sciatica, you may be advised to try a structured exercise programme under the supervision of a physiotherapist. In very rare cases, surgery may be needed to control the symptoms.

Outlook

Most people find their sciatic pain goes away naturally within a few days or weeks. However, you should seek medical attention if:

  • you experience any other symptoms together with your back and leg pain, such as weight loss or loss of bladder or bowel control
  • you experience increasingly more pain and discomfort
  • your pain is too severe to manage with self-help measures