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Sciatica

08 Feb 2012
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OVERVIEW

Sciatica is a type of back pain that is associated with irritation of the sciatic nerve – the set of nerves that runs through the lower spine, pelvis, buttocks, legs and feet.

There are two types of sciatica:

  • acute, which lasts less than 6 weeks; and
  • chronic, which lasts longer than 6 weeks.

 

Causes

Causes of sciatica can include:

  • Slipped disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Diseases of the bone
  • Spinal injury
  • Infection
  • Tumour or growth in the spine

 

Symptoms
  • Pain ranging from mild or severe, typically in the lower back, buttock and leg areas
  • Pins and needles
  • Tingling sensation
  • Numbness
  • Weakness in legs

 

Treatment
  • Painkillers
  • Gentle exercise
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy
  • Surgery

 

If you have any of the above symptoms, consult your general practitioner.

 

VIDEOS

 

Video: Sciatica

 

RESOURCES & SUPPORT

Local

Health Navigator – Back Pain

 

International

The Cochrane Library

 

RESEARCH

The New Zealand Medical Journal
British Medical Journal
Journal of the American Medical Association
The Lancet

 

FORUMS

Sciatica Pain – Forum
Daily Strength – Sciatica Forum

 

 

DISCLAIMER
The information above is of a general nature and is designed to provide you with an overview of the topic, with links to local and international resources that may be of interest.  We do our best to ensure that this information is accurate and up to date.

You should always, however, seek specific professional medical advice, treatment and care appropriate to you, and as such we strongly recommend you consult with your general practitioner first.

 

 

Updated April 2012
Image source: Wikimedia Commons – Sciatic Nerve