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Adele collapses during Vegas residency after sciatica attack. What is the condition?

The "Easy On Me" singer shared some personal details about her health during her Las Vegas residency.

Adele shared some personal details about her health with her fans over the weekend during her Las Vegas residency. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for AD)
Adele shared some personal details about her health with her fans during her Las Vegas residency. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for AD)

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle.

Adele got candid about her health after collapsing during a performance at her Las Vegas residency.

The Sun first reported Adele said "a member of her production team found her unable to move backstage" after a flare-up of sciatica — a spinal condition.

"They picked my whole body up off the floor," she told fans, according to The Sun.

The singer also revealed to the audience she had to take a break mid-show during the weekend, saying "I am going to sit down and rest my sciatica."

This came after her month-long break from the residency, set to run until November.

Adele opened up about her struggle with sciatica earlier this year. The 34-year-old told her New Year's Eve "Weekends With Adele" audience in January that her ability to walk has been affected.

"I have to waddle these days as I have really bad sciatica," she said as she moved across the stage, handing out merchandise, at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, according to Cosmopolitan.

It's not the first time the "Easy On Me" and "Hello" singer has opened up about her health issues.

In an interview with The Face published in November 2021, the U.K.-born singer explained some of the health problems she's experienced since she was a teenager.

"I slipped my first disc when I was 15 from sneezing. I was in bed and I sneezed and my fifth one flew out," she told the London-based publication. "In January [2021], I slipped my sixth one, my L6. And then where I had a C‑section, my core was useless. I've been in pain with my back for half of my life, really. It flares up, normally due to stress or from a stupid bit of posture."

What is sciatica?

Sciatica doctor hand working Professional Medical Concept. Sciatica is caused by an irritation of the root nerves that lead to the sciatic nerve.(Getty)
Sciatica is caused by an irritation of the root nerves that lead to the sciatic nerve.(Getty)

My Health Alberta explains sciatica as "pain, tingling or numbness" caused by an irritation of the root nerves that lead to the sciatic nerve.

More specifically, the sciatic nerve is formed by the nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord into the lower back, radiating through the buttock and then branching down the back of the leg to the ankle and foot.

The two sciatic nerves — one on each side of the lower body — are the longest in the human nervous system, though people with sciatica usually only feel pain on one side.

Sciatica causes and risk factors

The most common cause of sciatica is a bulging or ruptured disc — also called a herniated disc — in the spine.

However, sciatica can also be caused by conditions such as:

  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)

  • Bone spurs (small growths along joints due to arthritis)

  • Degenerative disc disease

  • Trauma

  • Tumours

  • Pregnancy

Several conditions and lifestyle habits can increase your risk for sciatica. Being overweight, lacking strong core muscles, smoking, leading an inactive lifestyle and diabetes can all increase your risk.

Jobs that require heavy lifting or sitting for prolonged periods can also lead to lower back problems, which may increase your risk of sciatica.

Careers that require heavy lifting or prolonged periods of sitting can lead to lower back problems, which can increase your risk of sciatica. (Photo via Getty Images)
Careers that require heavy lifting or prolonged periods of sitting can lead to lower back problems, which can increase your risk of sciatica. (Photo via Getty Images)

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

The main symptom of sciatica includes pain that radiates through the buttock and down the back of the thigh and leg. That pain can also change from a shooting or burning sensation, to a sharp or dull feeling, as well as a non-stop or intermittent throb.

Numbness and weakness in your lower back, buttock, leg or feet may also occur when you have sciatica. You might also feel "pins and needles," or pain that worsens with movement.

Sciatica treatment and prevention

Many cases of sciatica will go away with time. Treatment of the condition should focus on alleviating pain and increasing mobility, whether that's with medication, physiotherapy, massage therapy or stretching.

To prevent sciatica, it's recommended to avoid sleeping on your stomach, stand whenever possible, sit in chairs with firm back support and ensure your feet are flat on the floor while sitting. You should also exercise regularly and practice proper posture while lifting objects.

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