BSIP ESTIOT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP ESTIOT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sciatica. Artwork of a standing figure showing areas of pain associated with sciatica. The long sciatic nerve (blue) runs from the base of the spine (blue, upper centre) down to the foot. Sciatica is a feeling of pain along this nerve, with the main areas of discomfort highlighted in red along its length. It is most often caused by a slipped disc in the base of the spine pressing on the nerve, but can be caused by any adverse pressure anywhere along it. If the cause can be found, then it is usually operated on, but in many cases the cause is not found, and the only treatment is with painkilling drugs.
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