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Sciatica: Causes and Treatment Options

Sciatica Pain Treatment Singapore

Lower back pain affects many people worldwide. It impacts your daily activities, work productivity, and overall quality of life. Lower back pain can present in several forms, ranging from a dull ache to debilitating pain, and can be caused by many factors.

One condition often associated with lower back pain is sciatica, a type of pain that radiates from the lower back through the hips and down one or both legs. In this article, we discuss the common causes of sciatica, explore treatment options, and discuss how you can ease sciatica pain and improve the quality of your life.

 What is sciatica?

Sciatica is characterised by pain, numbness, tingling, or a weak feeling which radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, spreading from the lower back through the hips and down each leg. It usually affects only one side of the body and can vary in severity from mild discomfort to debilitating pain.

What causes sciatica?

Various underlying conditions or factors can cause sciatica. Here are the common ones.

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc, sometimes known as a slipped disc, happens when the gel-like inner component of a spinal disc pokes through the tough outer layer and puts pressure on the nearby nerve roots. This compression can cause inflammation and irritation of the sciatic nerve, presenting symptoms such as lower back pain, leg pain, and numbness.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is identified by the narrowing of the spinal canal, the passageway for the spinal cord and nerves. This narrowing usually occurs due to age-related changes, such as bone spurs or thickened ligaments, which put immense strain on the spinal cord and nerve roots. Sciatica symptoms may develop as a result of this compression.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is the gradual degradation of the spinal discs, which function as cushions between the vertebrae. As the discs lose hydration and elasticity with age, they may shrink in size and develop tears or cracks. This can lead to disc herniation, nerve compression, and sciatica symptoms.


Spondylolisthesis is when one vertebra slips laterally over the vertebra beneath it. This misalignment narrows the spinal canal and compresses the nerve roots, including the sciatic nerve, causing pain, numbness, and weakness in the legs.

Trauma or Injury

Trauma or injury to the spine, such as a fall, a road accident, or sports injury, can cause damage to the discs, vertebrae, or surrounding tissues. This damage may lead to inflammation, nerve compression, and sciatica symptoms.

Muscle Imbalance or Spasm

Tightness or imbalance in the muscles of the lower back, buttocks, or legs can irritate the sciatic nerve and contribute to the development of sciatica. Muscle spasms or tension can further exacerbate nerve compression and pain.


Excess body weight puts strain on the spine and contributes to developing or exacerbating sciatica. The added pressure on the spinal discs and nerves can lead to compression and irritation of the sciatic nerve.


As the growing foetus gets heavier during pregnancy, it can press on the sciatic nerve. This pressure can lead to sciatica symptoms, especially during the later stages of pregnancy.

Occupational Factors

Certain occupations that involve lifting heavy objects, repetitive movements, or sitting for extended periods may increase the risk of developing sciatica. Jobs that require bending, twisting, or lifting heavy objects can strain the muscles and structures of the spine, causing nerve compression and pain.

Options for Sciatica Pain Treatment in Singapore

The treatment of sciatica is determined by the underlying cause and severity of symptoms. Common treatment options include:

  • Pain Medication: Over-the-counter or prescription medications, muscle relaxants, or analgesics, may help relieve sciatica pain and inflammation.
  • Physical Therapy: A structured exercise program supervised by a therapist can help restore strength and flexibility. Therapy can also improve posture, reduce pain, and prevent future episodes of sciatica.
  • Steroid Injections: Corticosteroid injected directly into the affected spine area can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain associated with sciatica.

Surgical Intervention: If the sciatica is severe or persistent and does not respond to non-surgical treatments, surgery may be recommended to relieve pressure on the affected nerve roots. Surgical options may include discectomy, laminectomy, or spinal fusion.

Sciatica Treatment by Spire Orthopaedic Clinic

At Spire Orthopaedic Clinic, our physiotherapists and doctors work together to give you personalised care tailored to your needs.

Our treatment approach focuses on relieving pain, improving mobility, and restoring function to help our patients regain their quality of life. We are dedicated to helping you find relief from sciatica and get back to doing the things you love.

If you are experiencing sciatica pain and other symptoms, don’t suffer in silence. Contact Spire Orthopaedic Clinic today to schedule a consultation.