What is it?

Sciatica refers to leg pain from the back down the back of the leg and to the ankle from an irritation of the sciatic nerve. Causes of Sciatica vary and can include problems with muscles, joints and discs. Sciatica can begin suddenly and symptoms may come and go or be constant.


  • Often sudden onset
  • Leg pain on one or both legs, tingling, pins and needles or numbness in the back of the leg
  • May have weakness in the calf or muscles around the ankle
  • May come and go or be constant
  • Pain can be worse on coughing or sneezing
  • Symptoms often worse with staying in one position too long or bending


  • Changing your activity levels
  • Ice or heat
  • Pain relief
  • Physiotherapy including range of movement exercises and a gradual strengthening programme- symptoms generally resolve in 6-12 weeks
  • If symptoms fail to respond within 6-12 weeks then other pain management interventions can be accessed to allow your rehabilitation to make better progress


  • MRI may be appropriate if symptoms do not improve with conservative measures after 6-12weeks
  • X-Ray is not recommended in anyone under 50 yrs of age and does not help us manage your back pain in most cases

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