Sciatica is a pain that comes from the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back to the back of both legs. A variety of factors can lead to sciatica. When pressure is put on the sciatic nerve, it causes pain in the lower back that can radiate down into the legs.
- Shooting pain down leg
- Burning sensation in leg
- Pain down the back of legs while sitting
- Leg weakness
- Numbness in legs
The symptoms of sciatica can hit suddenly, and they usually only affect one leg. Sciatica is most common in people age 30-50.
Here are some causes of sciatica:
- Herniated disc: This is the most common cause of sciatica. Herniated disc is when the jelly-like center of a disc pushes through the disc. It is also called a slipped disc or bulging disc. Your spine is made up of vertebrae (bones) and discs sit between the vertebrae, cushioning them. If the jelly-like center of a disc starts slipping through or coming out, whether due to injury, wear and tear, trauma, or another reason – this is a herniated disc.
- Pregnancy: The expanding uterus puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. This will most likely go away after the baby is born.
- Spinal stenosis: This is a narrowing of the spine, which puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. It happens gradually over time, mainly because of aging.
- Degenerative disc disease: Degeneration of one or more discs in the spine, usually due to aging.
- Arthritis: Spinal osteoarthritis is when the cartilage of the joints and discs breaks down. The main symptoms are swelling and pain. Osteoarthritis can cause bone spurs that put pressure on nerves.
- Injury or infection: These are less likely causes but sudden trauma as from an injury can lead to sciatica.
Treatments include medication, injections, physical therapy or surgery. It is important to know the cause of your sciatica pain so the correct course of treatment can be prescribed.Contact us or call our dedicated Medical Concierge at 800-890-1964 to learn more or set up an appointment.