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Sciatica is a symptom, not a diagnosis.

The term “Sciatica” means that you have pain radiating down your leg from your buttocks to your feet. Often, it’s not the whole way down the leg, but buttocks and thighs are commonly affected. This pain is caused by compression of the Sciatic nerve. It usually occurs on one side only.

If you have symptoms on both sides or any loss of bladder / bowel control, please see your doctor urgently.

The Sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and runs from each side of the lower spine, through the buttocks, then into the back of the thigh and all the way down to your feet.

Common Symptoms of Sciatica include a sharp pain or tingling that starts in the lower back or buttock and travels down the leg. Pain is usually worse when standing or sitting still and can feel better when lying or walking.

The most common cause of true Sciatica is a herniated (slipped) disc that is irritating or pressing on the nerve as it leaves the lower spine. You should see your doctor to get this assessed and treated.

However, there are a number of other causes of Sciatica – like symptoms such as:

Poor posture,

Hours of sitting,

Tight muscles in lower back or buttocks (Piriformis muscle),


These can usually be self-treated with change in lifestyle or some help from a Soft Tissue Therapist.

Some gentle exercises may help to stop the symptoms returning including:

Core muscle stretching and strengthening (to support the spine),

Hamstring stretches (to decrease stress in lower back) and

Gentle aerobic exercise such as walking to improve general fitness.

Please get in touch if you need help or advice about this common condition.