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illustration of sciatica

A herniated disc in your spinal column that is pressing on the nerve roots in the lumbar spine may cause a condition called sciatica. Sciatica causes sudden low back pain or hip pain, and radiates to your buttock, thigh, and leg.


Sciatica can cause sharp, burning or “pins and needles” sensations that radiates down your legs. This feeling can last for weeks before it goes away. Sometimes the pain worsens when you move, sneeze, or cough. This condition can be acute or recurring.

Causes and Risk Factors

Sciatica is most commonly caused by a herniated disc. Generally affecting people between 30 and 50 years of age, sciatica may occur as a result of osteoarthritis or the general wear and tear of aging.


Symptoms range from mild to severe and can sometimes go away on their own. Treatment may include rest, applying hot or cold packs, stretching, walking, anti-inflammatory medication, epidural injection, and/or physical therapy. Surgery may be recommended for extreme cases in which the compressed nerve results in disabling leg pain that is not resolved with nonsurgical treatments.