Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem?

Call 1800 022 222

healthdirect Australia

This is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

Is it an emergency? Dial 000

If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

Sciatica can lead to pain in the back and legs.

Sciatica can lead to pain in the back and legs.
beginning of content


Sciatica is a condition that can lead to pain in the back and legs.

Sciatica is the name given to nerve pain that travels down the back of the leg due to a problem in the lower back. There are a range of different causes of sciatica. In most cases, the condition gets better over time, either on its own or with treatment.

Sciatica occurs when pain radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in your lower spine, and travels through your hip and buttock and down the back of your leg to your foot.

The causes of sciatica include spinal injury or trauma, bone spurs or other growths, narrowing of the spinal canal, or tight or swollen muscles in the buttock. In many cases, people can’t pinpoint a specific injury that caused the condition.


myDr (Sciatica: symptoms, causes and diagnosis), SA Health (Health Topics), myDR (Sciatica Treatment), myVMC (Sciatica)

Last reviewed: October 2016

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 12 results

Sciatica: treatment -

Most sciatica gets better within a few weeks. If not, there are treatments that may help relieve your sciatica pain.

Read more on myDr website

Sciatica: symptoms, causes and diagnosis -

Sciatica is characterised by pain deep in the buttock often radiating down the back of the leg. One of the most common causes is a herniated disc.

Read more on myDr website

Sciatica | Better Health Channel

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Managing low back pain and sciatica :: SA Health

Simple advice on managing low back pain or sciatica to assist your recovery

Read more on SA Health website

Experiences of pregnancy

The parents we spoke with found pregnancy life-changing and exciting, and described at length its physical and emotional dimensions.

Read more on Healthtalk Australia website

Medical Acupuncture | myVMC

Acupuncture is an element of traditional Chinese medicine practiced routinely in China, Japan, Korea and other Eastern countries. Over recent years there has been a growing demand for acupuncture and an acceptance of the technique among medical professionals. The practice of acupuncture is based on therapeutic insertion of solid needles in various combinations and patterns. Qi (pronounced chee) is a subtle vivifying energy and the traditional principle of acupuncture is to encourage the flow of qi in the body. Modern concepts of acupuncture include recruiting neuroanatomical activities in segmental distributions. Many practitioners who practice acupuncture use a combination of these two principles. Respect for acupuncture grew in the late 1970s when it was shown that acupuncture lead to changes in central nervous system activities of endogenous epioids and biogenic amines. For many people, acupuncture is an effective method of relieving pain.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Spinal cord stimulation for back pain

Spinal cord stimulation is an advanced treatment for severe, chronic back pain, neuropathic pain (nerve pain) and other pain syndromes.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Spinal Cord Anatomy and Function | myVMC

The spinal cord is a long cylinder of nerves that runs from the base of your brain through the vertebral canal through the backbone. It is part of the central nervous system (CNS) along with the brain. It isdivided into different segments.Each segment contains a pair roots made out of nerve fibres. The two roots in the pair arecalled the dorsal (towards the back) and ventral (away from the back) roots. The spinal cord is about 45 cm in length and 2 cm in diameter in adults, and is involved in many important functions of the body.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

TENS - transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation -

TENS (trancutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a treatment that uses low voltage electrical currents to relieve pain.

Read more on myDr website


Detailed information for consumers and carers about vertebroplasty - including what it is, how to prepare, how it is done, risks and benefits and after effects

Read more on InsideRadiology website

Check your symptoms Find a health service

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo