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Article by Leroy Lombard
A lot of people don’t know this, but sciatica isn’t a disease. It is actually a symptom of some other kind of problem. It is sort of a clue that something else is wrong, so to speak. You probably have sciatica, if you have a stabbing or shooting pain in your legs, buttocks, hips, or lower back.
There’s a nerve in your body called the sciatic nerve, and sciatica is the result of this nerve being irritated on compressed. There are quite a few things that could cause trouble with the sciatic nerve, but here are 4 common causes of sciatica.
Piriformis Syndrome – It can be difficult to treat or diagnose piriformis syndrome since it is a muscular problem and hard to detect on an X-ray. Your piriformis muscle connects to your hipbone and it assists your hip rotation. The muscle is located in the lower pelvis.
When the muscles spasm or become too tense, you develop what is called piriformis syndrome. The piriformis muscle can compress the sciatic nerve and cause significant pain. What happens is that the sciatic nerve runs behind your piriformis muscle and it can easily be irritated when the muscle tenses up or constricts around it.
Piriformis syndrome is what I used to suffer from, but thankfully it is actually one of the easier forms of sciatica to clear up with a few proper stretching exercises.
Bulging or the Herniated Disc – A herniated or bulging disc is a very common cause to sciatica. What’s the difference between the two? When the soft nucleus of a disc breaks through your tough annulus layer then a herniated disc occurs. When the nucleus does not break through the outer layer of the disc, but only bulges outward, that is a bulging disc. Since your herniated disc is not a contained type of disorder, then the consequences that you get from your herniated disc are much worse than a bulging disc.
It doesn’t matter whether your disc bulges or herniates, this disc can press against an adjacent nerves in the spine and can compress them, causing sciatica. Often times there can be inflammation that follows which can lead to tingling or numbness.
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis – The condition of spinal stenosis can result in the gradual narrowing of your spinal canal. It can cause pressure on your spinal cord and the other spinal nerves. This often results in pain, which is often made better by sitting or laying down, which reduces the tension on the spinal nerves.
Spinal stenosis is often related to age. This kind of stenosis condition can cause different spinal elements to sag or bulge from arthritis. The discs, joints and ligaments are affected as well. The changes that can happen with age, can have a effect in narrowing the spinal canal and can trigger pain.
Spondylolisthesis – This is when one vertebrae in the spine is slipping forward over your adjacent vertebra. This often causes the sciatic nerve to become compressed, resulting in shooting or stabbing pain down your leg or in your lower back.
You might get this condition because you were born with it or because of some sort of traumatic injury.
These are, of course, only four potential causes of sciatica. There are many other possibilities. Most cases of sciatica can be alleviated by correcting muscle imbalances, which are the root cause of most back pain problems.
If you have sciatica, and you don’t know the specific cause, it is important to go see your doctor to learn the true cause to your condition and receive appropriate recommendations on how to fix it.
About the Author
If you found this information helpful and you’d like to discover a helpful treatment for sciatic nerve pain, check out my Lose the Back Pain review, where you’ll discover a simple way to overcome back pain and muscle imbalances.
Leroy Lombard used to suffer from sciatica brought on by Piriformis Syndrome. After studying the causes and cures for sciatic nerve pain and finding lasting relief himself, he enjoys sharing his knowledge with others.