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Sciatica is the name given to any sort of pain that is caused by irritation or compression of a spinal nerve. This can cause a pain that radiates out from your lower back/buttock and travels down your leg.

A slipped (herniated) disc is the most common identified cause of sciatica. The discs are made from a tough, fibrous case that contains a softer gel-like substance. Discs disruption can be caused by a number of factors.

Some common causes of disc disruption:

  • Repeated compression/irritation
  • Lack of spinal movement
  • Lack of exercise
  • Wear and tear
  • Changes in the tissue around the disc
  • Trauma/Injury
  • Obesity and being overweight


The outer part of the disc ruptures (splits), allowing the gel inside to form a bulge and protrude outwards between the vertebrae. When this bulge/protrusion presses against the nerve, it can cause sciatica.

Most of the time the pressure on the spinal nerve has been underlying for months and years even before you experience a symptom. The body adapts to the changes up until it cannot cope with demands, often resulting in pain.

Sciatic pain can range from being mild to very painful. The pain often gets worse over time.

Symptoms can include:

  • Pain in the low back/buttock and or leg
  • Numbness and or tingling
  • Muscle weakness


Symptoms are often triggered by:

  • Sneezing, coughing or laughing
  • Change of position
  • Standing/sitting or maintaining a certain position
  • Sitting to standing
  • Turning and bending

* The contents of this condition is for information purposes only.