Common Sciatica Causes
Sciatica develops when one or more of the nerve roots located in the lower back get compressed. Its symptoms involve mild to intense pain in the lower back or the legs. Sciatica causes may differ from one person to another. In this article, let’s talk about the most prevalent sciatica causes and who are more prone to the condition
Contained Disc Disorder or Herniated Disc
Contained disc disorder is the condition also known as bulging disc. This happens when the nucleus pulposus (gel-like center) protrudes outwardly, along the outer wall of the disc in your lower back oftentimes putting pressure on a nerve that exits to form the sciatic nerve.
When the nucleus breaks, the condition becomes herniated disc. Both bulging and herniated disc are common sciatica causes. They bring about inflammation and pain, typically leading to the numbness of the extremities, tingling of the muscles, as well as general weakness. However, the effects of herniated disc are worse.
Another usual cause of sciatica is trauma. When any external force causes the compression of the lumbar or spinal nerves, the person may suffer from the condition. If you have had a vehicular accident or you often fall down due to the sports you play, you have a higher risk of experiencing sciatica.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
Among all sciatica causes, spinal stenosis may be the most common among older people. The pain is generally positional. This means that activities such as running or walking could bring pain, but it can be relieved by sitting down.
The fourth among the most common sciatica causes involves the piriformis muscle. This is the muscle is attached to the sacrum and runs diagonally to insert on the greater trochanter of the femur- it’s a lateral/external rotator of the hip.
The sciatic nerve runs through the piriformis muscle. Sometimes, muscle spasms happen (piriformis syndrome) and when they do, they ‘clamp down’ on the sciatic nerve. The syndrome usually is the result of abnormal biomechanics (many times in the foot) that torque the hip and pelvis.
Spondylolisthesis is a disorder wherein one vertebra slips over an adjacent vertebra. Whenever this happens, the spinal nerve root gets compressed and usually results in sciatic leg pain. Among different sciatica causes, spondylolisthesis is developmental. It’s a disorder which starts at birth and progresses during childhood. It could also be acquired from trauma, physical stress (like weight training), or spinal degeneration.
Spinal tumors are abnormal cell growths in the spine. They may either be benign or malignant (cancerous). Luckily though, this kind of tumor is rare. However, when it happens in the lumbar area, the risk of sciatica increases. As sciatica causes are all due to nerve compression, the tumors irritating the nerve roots can lead to the condition.
These are the most common sciatica causes. If you suspect that you are suffering from the condition, remember that it is important to see your doctor for proper diagnosis. Unless the real cause is detected, you may have to suffer the pain for a long time. By knowing the sciatica causes, proper treatments can be performed. Oftentimes, the condition improves after several weeks of medication and therapy.