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What is Sciatica Pain and what are the causes

Home / What is Sciatica Pain and what are the causes

What is Sciatica Pain and what are the causes

  • Dr. Charla Fischer
  • Aug 29, 2017

Sciatica, defined as severe leg pain along the course of sciatic nerve. The pain often starts from the buttock down the thigh, into calf and foot. Pain can be accompanied by numbness, tingling or weakness. Sciatica is not a medical diagnosis, but it is a symptom which underlies a medical condition. Common back problems that can lead to sciatica symptoms are degenerative disc disease, lumbar disc herniation, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis.
How to establish Sciatica nerve pain?
Sciatica is characterized by following symptoms:
  • Constant and unbearable pain in one side of the leg (pain extends from buttock, down the feet).
  • Pain gets worse while sitting
  • Weakness, numbness, tingling, and difficulty in moving your leg or foot
  • Sharp pain that can hinder body function
  • Pain may be uniformly distributed along the leg, but there can be certain spots where it is intense
The pain may be irritating, infrequent or constant; it can be sharp and might feel similar to an electric shock. The symptoms often help to understand the undermine causes and diagnosis of the condition.
Sciatica can be a result of any process which causes pressure to nerve roots which comprise sciatic nerve. And this pressure may be a result of processes such spinal stenosis also known as narrowing of the bony spinal canal and ruptured intervertebral disc. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve present in the body; it originates in sacral plexus which is a network of nerves in the lumbosacral spine.
Sciatica can rarely occur before the age of 20 but is common among those in the middle age and is most likely to affect people between 40-50 years of age. The condition is not a result of trauma or injury but it develops over the course of time. And, a majority of people who experience this condition get better over a period of few weeks and months after undergoing nonsurgical treatments.
If you experience this condition, it is advised to consult a medical practitioner to learn the causes of pain and how it can be reduced. Your doctor will also check the possibility of a serious medical issue. Certain symptoms of this condition, though rare require immediate medical and surgical intervention. These include bowel or bladder dysfunction, and neurological symptoms.
Main Causes of sciatica pain are:
  • Lumbar herniated disc
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Isthmic spondylolisthesis
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Muscle strain
  • Scar tissue
  • Pregnancy
  • Infection
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Fracture
Sciatica treatment will differ depending on the causes of the condition. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, get in touch with a specialist and discuss your case. You will be advised therapies, exercises or surgery depending on the cause of pain.

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