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ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sciatica treatment. X-rays of the lumbar (lower back) spine of a 48-year-old patient with herniated (slipped) intervertebral discs that are the cause of sciatica. Sciatica is caused by compression or irritation of one of five spinal nerve roots that give rise to each sciatic nerve, or of the sciatic nerves themselves. In this case the nerves are trapped by the herniated discs. Here a lumber puncture is being performed, where a needle (white, thin) is placed directly into the intervertebral space and spinal fluid is withdrawn to relieve the pressure on the nerves.
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