Sciatica (disorder), Sciatica neuralgia, Neuralgia-neuritis of sciatic nerve, Sciatic neuralgia,

In the vast majority of cases sciatica is caused by a slipped disc. A slipped disc occurs when one of the discs that sit between the bones of the spine (the vertebrae) is damaged and presses on the nerves.

It's not always clear what causes the damage, although as you get older your discs become less flexible and more likely to rupture.

Less common causes include:

  • spinal stenosis narrowing of the nerve passages in the spine
  • spondylolisthesis when a vertebra slips out of position
  • a spinal injury or infection
  • a growth within the spine such as a tumour
  • cauda equina syndrome a rare but serious condition caused by compressed and damaged nerves in the spinal cord

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Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 23 Sep 2018