Sciatica is a condition that pertains to pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling sensation in the leg. The cause of this could be an injury or pressure exerted on the sciatic nerve. Let’s study the causes of this condition in detail.
Pain in the sciatic nerve results from irritation in the nerve. This nerve is the longest in the body, which runs from the fourth or the fifth lumbar vertebra down to the back of the thigh, behind the knee, and into the hamstring muscles to end into the feet. The pain and symptoms can be felt in the lower back, buttocks, and different parts of the leg and foot. Along with pain, some people may also experience numbness, muscular weakness, or tingling sensation. It may be difficult for some people to move or control the leg. These symptoms are often felt on one side of the body. The treatment depends on the causes of this condition.
The spinal disorder is often caused due to compression of the spinal nerve and the sciatica nerve.
Sciatica pain is often caused as a result of herniated disc pressing directly on the nerve. The nerve compression and irritation caused with the herniation, results in inflammation and pain, which leads to numbness in the extremities, tingling sensation in the lower body, and muscle weakness.
Spinal stenosis means narrowing of the spinal canal. It is a nerve compression disorder. The pain starts while standing or walking, or sitting down for an extended period of time. Nerve roots pass through the openings and extend beyond the spinal column to other parts of the body. When the passageways become narrow or clogged, they give rise to nerve compression, which leads to stenosis.
One of the lower back pain causes is trauma. Nerve compression can be caused by trauma due to external forces to the lumbar spinal nerve roots. If the impact of the injury is high, it can injure the nerves or occasionally fragments of broken bone may compress the nerves and give rise to nerve pain.
When the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, it gives rise to neuralgia. This muscle is located in the lower region of the spine, which connects the thighbones and assists in hip rotation. The nerve runs underneath the muscle. Piriformis syndrome develops when the muscle spasms occur in the piriformis muscle, which leads to compression of the nerve.
Abnormal growths, which can either be benign or cancerous are called spinal tumors. When the spinal tumors develop in the lumbar area, the risk of sciatic nerve problems increases due to nerve compression.
This condition is caused due to degenerative disc disease, when one vertebra slips slightly forward over another vertebra. The displaced bone may cause a pinched nerve, where the nerve leaves the spine.
Apart from these, there are other causes for this condition as well. The symptoms, causes, and treatment are different for different patients. The doctors will assess the symptoms to know the exact cause of the condition. The treatment options often include rest, anti-inflammatory medicines, and muscle relaxers. Once the pain subsides, the patient may be prescribed sciatica exercises.
Pain causes can be varied, but with exercises, it helps in relieving the patient of the condition; hence, it is often one of the options in treating sciatica pain. The exercises include the cat cow stretch, child’s pose, downward facing dog, hamstring stretch, knee stirs, etc. Some of the other stretches include knee to chest stretch, piriformis stretches, elbow press-up, etc. You may feel that this method takes much longer than anticipated to relieve you of the condition, but exercises are said to be the method to provide relief.