Sciatic nerve pain

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Sciatica, under the hood

Sciatica is normally identified by the following symptoms:

  • Pain that increases when sitting for long periods of time
  • Pain constantly originating from one buttock
  • Weakness in leg, foot and toes
  • Pain that moves down your leg towards your foot

What causes Sciatica

Here are a few common causes of Sciatica:

  • Lumbar herniated disk

This occurs when the nerve root is pinched by some of the soft inner material of the spinal disk that leaks out. This is normally referred to as a slipped disk, pinched nerve or bulging disk. This is one of the most common causes of Sciatica.

Cause: This is normally causes by an accident that patient is involved in that results in high pressure applied to the lower back.

Read more on Lumbar herniated disk here

  • Degenerative disk disease

Degenerative disks are in a way a natural process of getting Sciatica. The degenerating of disks occur with age when the disk degenerates on its own. When a weakened disk results in micro-motion the nerve roots become irritated through bone spurs and other protien that press against the nerve.

Cause:  This is normally caused by old age and long lingering back injuries making disks weaker.

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  • Isthimic spondylolisthesis

This condition normally occurs when a small stress fracture occurs in the spine. This stress fracture then allows one of the vertebral bodies to slip forward on another. The nerve gets pinched when the combination of disc space collapse between the spinal disks and the vertebral body slipping forward pinching the nerve.

Cause: This condition is normally caused by a fracture or a defect of the spinal disc.

Read more on Isthmic spondylolisthesis here

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis

This condition is normally common in adults over the age of 60 years. The narrowing of the spinal canal causes Sciatica. This is normally the result of one or more of the following: Soft tissue overgrowth or a bulging disk pinching the nerve root. This commonly occurs along with spinal arthritis. Arthritis can also be a key contributor to causing Sciatica.

Cause:  This condition is normally relating to natural aging.

Read more on Lumbar spinal stenosis here

  • Piriformis syndrome

The piriformis muscle in the buttocks can also be responsible for causing a Sciatica type pain. The sciatic nerve runs underneath the piriformis muscle in the buttocks. If this muscle pinches or irritates the nerve running underneath it, it can result in a Sciatica type pain. This is not a true lumbar associated syndrome, but because of the similar symptoms of pain in the leg, it can easily be mistaken.

Cause: Cramps and spasms of the piriformis muscle.

Read more on Piriformis syndrome here

  • Sacoiliac joint dysfunction

This is not a true case of Sciatica, but has similar symptoms in the sharp pain in the back of the thigh.

Read more on Sacroiliac joint dysfunction here

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