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What is sciatica? Adele collapses backstage due to flare-up

Adele said the recent flare-up had left her unable to move   (PA Archive)
Adele said the recent flare-up had left her unable to move (PA Archive)

Adele reportedly collapsed backstage during her Las Vegas residency after suffering a flare-up of her sciatica - a nerve-impacting condition.

The 35-year-old singer told fans at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace that the attack had left her unable to move and her team had “picked [her] whole body up off the floor”.

“I am going to sit down and rest my sciatica,” she said, according to The Sun.

Adele has been open about the condition before throughout her Weekends With Adele residency, and a flare-up on New Year’s Eve reportedly led her to hobble across the stage.

Back in February, she said: "Is anyone else kind of my age starting to get bad knees? I have got really bad sciatica in my left leg and my L5 disc is not f***ing there anymore. It's worn away.”

Adele has been candid about her battle with sciatica (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Adele has been candid about her battle with sciatica (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Adele is not the only celebrity to suffer from sciatica.

Former heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson previously revealed he has the nerve-impacting condition as well, which can sometimes leave him unable to walk and talk.

Tyson clarified his health condition in an interview with Newsmax TV recently and said: “I have sciatica every now and then, it flares up. When it flares up, I can’t even talk! Thank God it’s the only health problem I have. I’m splendid now.

“Everybody in my house is truly blessed and we’re all very grateful for whatever we have.”

What is sciatica?

According to the NHS, sciatica is pain caused by an irritated nerve. It usually affects one side, running from your lower back down to one leg.

It may feel like a stabbing, burning, or shooting pain. Others have also reported a tingling, or numbness and weakness in the area.

The pain normally gets better in four to six weeks but can last longer.

You may also have back pain, but it’s not usually as bad as the pain in your bottom, leg, or foot.

You probably do not have sciatica if you’re only experiencing back pain.

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica occurs when something presses or rubs on the sciatic nerve.

The most common cause is a slipped disc, which is when a soft cushion of tissue between the bones in your spine pushes out.

Another cause is spinal stenosis, which happens when one or more bony openings within the spine begin to narrow and reduce space for nerves.

Sciatica can also be triggered by a back injury or spondylolisthesis, where one of the bones in your spine slips out of position.

What are the treatments?

If you have sciatica, your GP will prescribe painkillers and suggest exercises and stretches.

Depending on how severe your pain is, they might refer you for physiotherapy and psychological support.

If these treatments do not work, you will be referred to a hospital specialist, who might offer painkilling injections, a procedure to seal off some of the nerves in your back so they stop sending pain signals.

An operation called decompression surgery can sometimes help relieve sciatica.

When to go A&E or call 999

While sciatica is not a severe condition, you could be experiencing serious back problems that need to be treated in the hospital as soon as possible.

Watch out for any of the following symptoms:

  • sciatica on both sides

  • weakness or numbness in both legs that’s severe or getting worse

  • have numbness around or under your genitals, or around your bottom (anus)

  • find it hard to start peeing, cannot pee, or cannot control when you pee – and this is not normal for you

  • do not notice when you need to poo or cannot control when you poo – and this is not normal for you