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Sciatica: an annoying back pain

Sciatica, also called sciatica, is an annoying radiating nerve pain in the hip. It starts in the back and runs through the buttock to the leg. This is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve that originates from the spinal cord in the lower back. It can occur as a result of wear and tear, inflammation, incorrect posture or a wrong movement. In many cases a physiotherapist can provide a solution, but sometimes surgical intervention is necessary.

What is sciatica?

The condition sciatica is named after the sciatic nerve that runs from the low back, through the hip and into the leg. If someone suffers from sciatica, a sudden stabbing or cutting pain may occur along the entire length of this nerve. Sciatica is a form of radiating back pain that can be chronic. This is also colloquially called sciatica. Nowadays doctors talk about LRS (Lumbosacral Radicular Syndrome).


The pain can be caused by wear and tear of the intervertebral disc. This is damaged and there is pressure on the lumbar nerves in the lower back. This damage can have many causes, such as: pregnancy/childbirth, heavy lifting, incorrect posture or a cramped gluteal muscle. Sciatica can be caused by several causes. This can also be a result of the following causes:

  • Difference in leg length
  • Osteoarthritis (wear and tear)
  • An inflammation in the area of the SI joint
  • Blockage of the pelvis
  • Bending forward incorrectly
  • Too much tension on muscles
  • Wrong turning movement
  • Abrupt movement that puts too much weight on the lower back

Sciatica is usually preceded by back problems in the lower back such as lumbago or a hernia (bulge of the intervertebral disc). Spit is a painful cramping of the back muscles. 90% of patients with sciatica have had lumbago at some point in their lives.


The pain associated with sciatica varies from person to person. Some people experience little pain and it may go away on its own. Others have severe pain complaints that can even lead to failure of the leg muscles, although this is quite rare. In addition to pain, especially in the lower back, the following symptoms may be present with sciatica:

  • A numb and burning sensation
  • Muscle weakness and loss of strength
  • Tingling in the legs
  • Muscle cramp
  • Pain on pressure on certain areas of the nerve

In some people, sciatica may be a one-off and will go away after treatment. In others it is chronic and the patient always remains sensitive to this condition. Some people then suffer from severe complaints again after a period of weeks or months because it occurs again.

Weak spot

The lower back is a weak spot for many people and there are also many people who have back problems. People who lead a sedentary lifestyle with a lack of exercise are especially at risk of developing back pain. In addition, being overweight or having a weak spine can play a role.

Emotional cause

Emotional problems can also lead to back problems, even sciatica. Due to the stress, processes in the body will run differently. The muscles will tense more. It can affect all kinds of muscles in the body, including the back muscles.


Treatment of sciatica depends on the cause. Treatment will usually consist of improving body position. With tense muscles you can learn to relax better. This can take place under the guidance of an expert such as a physiotherapist. Sometimes the pressure on a nerve can be relieved by surgery. This especially applies if there is a hernia. When stressed, it makes sense to tackle emotional problems. If you have persistent lower back pain, it is wise to visit your GP who can refer you to the right expert.

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