Sciatica is a common term that describes pain in the lower back and leg resulting from compression or pressure to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve branches off the spine, runs down the back of each leg, through the buttocks, and into either foot. Sciatica can be caused by different injuries or damage to this nerve, making it extremely painful to move the affected area. If you have sciatica that causes pain and affects your quality of life, you should see a Roswell sciatica specialist. They may recommend treatments such as epidural steroid injections and minimally invasive surgery. Here are some of the common causes of sciatica.
Infection is a common cause of sciatica, especially in people with a compromised immune system. HIV and hepatitis can lead to infection of the nervous system and may result in sciatica symptoms. Other infections such as Lyme disease and spinal epidural abscesses can also cause sciatic nerve compression. The first step is to treat the underlying infection with antibiotics in most cases.
Bone spurs are small outgrowths of bone that can form on the spine, causing pain and pressure on the sciatic nerve. Bone spurs may also occur in the joints of the low back, pelvis, or hip, where they can cause degeneration of tissue around the nerve.
Lumbar Disc Herniation
As we age, the cartilage in our spines begins to wear down, which can lead to a loss of flexibility and degeneration. Our intervertebral discs become dryer and stiffer, which puts increased pressure on the bones above and below. The outer layer of cartilage may tear or rupture, resulting in a herniated disc that can cause pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal narrows, compressing the nerves in your spine and causing pain. Like lumbar disc herniations, this can also cause compression of the sciatic nerve. It may be caused by changes to arthritis or osteoarthritis, resulting in bone spurs or hardening of tissue in the spinal column.
Age-Related Disc Disease
As you age, the discs in your spines begin to dry out and shrink, leading to disc degeneration. This degeneration puts pressure on nerves that travel through the spine, causing sciatica symptoms. Other conditions such as spinal stenosis or lumbar herniated disc can also cause this kind of compression.
Injury and Trauma
Injury and trauma can cause various types of sciatica, which can develop at any point along the nerve pathway. A sudden injury or fall may cause a one-time incidence of sciatica, while longer or repetitive injuries can cause chronic pain.
It is widespread in athletes who constantly move and twist their bodies resulting in several different leg injuries.
Vertebra overgrowth is a medical condition in which one of the vertebrae in the back grows rapidly, resulting in pressure on surrounding nerves. This growth can cause pain or numbness that radiates along the sciatic nerve pathway.
In summary, sciatica is a condition where the sciatic nerve is compressed, causing pain and numbness in the lower back and leg. Most cases of sciatica develop due to injury and trauma, vertebra overgrowth, lumbar disk herniation, and spinal stenosis. Infections and bone spurs are also common causes of the condition.