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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.

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

Contact London Spine Specialists

For further questions relating to Sciatica or to book an appointment, call us on 020 3370 1030 or email spinespecialists@hje.org.uk

Spine Clinic

The Spine Clinic at St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is a centre for excellence in the diagnosis, intervention and aftercare of all spinal conditions.

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Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, ENT, as well as a private GP practice and our urgent care centre, Casualty First, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information then get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 020 3370 1030.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

 If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. 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.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRI’s a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

    Make an enquiry

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