The pain is often severe, and usually comes on suddenly. The pain is usually eased by lying down flat, and is often made worse if you move your back, cough, or sneeze.
Other nerve root symptoms
The irritation or pressure on the nerve next to the spine may also cause pins and needles, numbness or weakness in part of a buttock, leg or foot. The exact site and type of symptoms depends in which nerve is affected.
Cauda equine syndrome – rare, but an emergency
Cauda equine syndrome is a particularly serious type of nerve root problem that can be caused by a prolapsed disc. This syndrome can cause low back pain plus: problems with bowel and bladder function (usually unable to pass urine), numbness in the saddle area (around the anus), and weakness in one or both legs. This syndrome needs urgent treatment to preserve the nerves to the bladder and bowel from becoming permanently damaged. This is the only condition where surgery is absolutely necessary and required in emergency.