Who gets it and why?
Disc degeneration results from the natural aging of the discs between the bones in the spine.
In the vast majority of cases, sciatica is caused by a herniated or 'slipped' disc, which can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Also, the disc material contains an acidic chemical irritant that can cause nerve inflammation.
Less common causes include spinal stenosis which is a narrowing of the nerve passages in the spine, a spinal injury or infection.
Your doctor will review your medical history, a physical and neurological examination, and if warranted, x-rays, CT scan and/or MRI studies. Sometimes you can be given a pain diagram to illustrate the pain distribution and sensation.
The Patient Line website offers information for patients with spinal conditions:
Sciatica, back pain, spinal stenosis, disc herniation, scoliosis and many other spine conditions explained in a clear reliable, and trustworthy way. Not for profit EUROSPINE experts are here to help patients and their families understand what may be worrying them.
EUROSPINE is a society of spine specialists of various disciplines with a large knowledge of spine pathologies. All well-known and accepted treatment modalities for spine pathologies are represented by the members of the society. However, the Society cannot accept any responsibility for the use of the information provided; the user and their health care professionals must retain responsibility for their health care management.