Common causes of sciatica. August 20, 2023 15:30

Sciatica pain is caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the human body. The sciatic nerve originates from the lower back (lumbar spine) and runs down through the buttocks and the back of each leg. When this nerve is irritated or compressed, it can lead to a sharp, shooting pain that radiates from the lower back down the leg.

Several conditions and factors can contribute to sciatica pain:

Herniated Disk: A herniated or slipped disc occurs when the soft inner material of a spinal disc protrudes through its outer covering and presses against the nearby nerves, including the sciatic nerve. This compression can lead to sciatica pain.

Spinal Stenosis: This is a narrowing of the spinal canal, usually due to aging and degeneration of the spine. Spinal stenosis can put pressure on the spinal nerves, including the sciatic nerve, leading to pain.

Piriformis Syndrome: The piriformis muscle is located in the buttocks and runs near the sciatic nerve. If the piriformis muscle becomes tight or spasms, it can compress the sciatic nerve, causing pain.

Degenerative Disc Disease: As discs between the vertebrae age, they can lose their cushioning properties, leading to increased pressure on the nerves and potentially causing sciatica.

Spondylolisthesis: This condition occurs when one vertebra slips forward over the vertebra below it. This misalignment can result in compression of the sciatic nerve.

Trauma or Injury: In some cases, trauma or injury to the lower back can lead to inflammation and compression of the sciatic nerve.

Obesity: Excess weight can put additional stress on the spine and contribute to the development of conditions that lead to sciatica.

Poor Posture and Body Mechanics: Improper posture and body mechanics can place strain on the spine and contribute to the development of sciatica.

Pregnancy: The changes that occur in a woman's body during pregnancy, including weight gain and hormonal changes, can sometimes lead to sciatica.

If you're experiencing persistent or severe sciatica pain, it's important to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Treatment options may include pain management, physical therapy, exercises, medication, and in some cases, surgical intervention.