Understanding Sciatica: 4 Common Causes of This Painful Condition

Posted On Tuesday, 09 April 2019
Understanding Sciatica: 4 Common Causes of This Painful Condition

Sciatica occurs when painful sensations run along the path of the sciatic nerve. This condition can sometimes occur for seemingly no reason, but there are medical conditions that may be linked to the cause of sciatica.

These four conditions are among the most common causes of sciatica.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
As Spine-Health.com explains, lumbar spinal stenosis often occurs when vertebrae, discs, and connective tissues of the spine begin to wear down because of age or another medical condition. When these components start to degenerate, changes in the spine can occur that end up irritating the sciatic nerve. Irritation of the nerve happens when changes in the spine put pressure on the nerve. Sciatica pain in the legs from walking is a common sign of lumbar spinal stenosis.

Degenerative Disc Disease
When the body ages, spinal discs can begin to disintegrate as the spinal fluid dries out or when the effects of old injuries affect the discs. Numbness and tingling are often felt when the condition puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, but pain can also occur as the condition worsens. Muscle weakness around the sciatic nerve and other parts of the body that are affected be degenerative disc disease can occur as well.

Spondylolisthesis
The lower vertebrae of the spine are affected when spondylolisthesis develops. According to Healthline.com, spondylolistheses happens when a lower vertebrae slips forward onto the bone directly beneath it. If the sciatic nerve gets trapped in the process, persistent pain can develop. In addition to age, the risk of getting spondylolistheses increases when genetics, fitness levels, and lifestyle choices are factors. Fortunately, the condition can often be treated with physical therapy or surgery. Exercising with the correct form is sometimes effective in preventing spondylolisthesis.

Pregnancy
A developing child inside the womb could end up putting pressure on the sciatic nerve as the baby’s size increases. The sciatic nerve is especially susceptible to entrapment during pregnancy because it runs directly under the uterus to the legs. The extra weight gain and fluid retention that may come along with pregnancy can also cause sciatica. Some pregnant women have gotten relief from sciatica by lying on the opposite sides of where the pain is felt. Resting an elevated foot on a step, a stool or another object while standing can also bring relief.

Knowing the conditions that are associated with the development of sciatica can help people get the proper treatment to live a pain-free life. Seeing a specialist at a chiropractor’s office can also help put an end to sciatica.

Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky Snowball.

Twitter: @LizzieWeakley
Facebook: facebook.com/lizzie.weakley

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