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Last Updated: 05/05/2007
You're most likely to get sciatica when you're 30-50 years old. It may happen due to the effects of general wear and tear, plus any sudden pressure on the disks that cushion the vertebrae of your lower (lumbar) spine. The gel-like inside (nucleus) of a disk may protrude into or through the disk's outer lining (annulus). This herniated disk may press directly on nerve roots that become the sciatic nerve. The nerve may also get inflamed and irritated by chemicals from the disk's nucleus. About one in every 50 people experience a herniated disk. Of these, 10-25 percent have symptoms lasting more than six weeks. About 80-90 percent of people with sciatica get better, over time, without surgery.

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