Causes of sciatica include many degenerative spine conditions

Sciatica is the term used to refer to either a mild, dull or sharp pain that occurs along your sciatic nerve, which travels from your lower back into the hips, buttocks and down both legs. This condition occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched or compressed, often from a degenerative spine condition or injury.

The other symptoms associated with sciatica include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control, in rare cases of medical emergency

What causes sciatica?

Sciatica causes can include spine conditions, including a herniated disc, or injuries such as a strain of the piriformis muscle in the buttocks.

Your spinal vertebrae are cushioned by rubbery discs, which absorb shock and allow the spine to bend and twist. Over time, these discs can begin to degenerate due to natural changes combined with the stress they are placed under on a daily basis. A bulging or herniated disc causes sciatica by pressing on sciatic nerve roots, causing pain and symptoms beginning in the lower back and radiating into the lower body, usually on one side or the other.

Other sciatica causes include:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Pelvic injury or fracture
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis

How do I treat sciatica?

Regardless of the cause of sciatica, the pain and symptoms often respond to a series of conservative treatments. Your doctor may begin treatments by recommending the following therapies:

  • Pain or anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Yoga and stretches
  • Weight management counseling
  • Low-impact exercises
  • Corticosteroid injections

If you have not found relief after exploring fully exploring these and other treatments and your doctor is recommending spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery has helped thousands of patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain.

We believe that spine surgery should be a treatment our patients approach with peace of mind and confidence. That is why we offer procedures that reduce the risk of complication and infection and shorten the recovery time^ compared to traditional open back surgery. Depending on the cause of your sciatica pain, we may recommend a minimally invasive decompression surgery or a minimally invasive stabilization surgery. Recommendations for a specific surgery are made after a full evaluation at one of our state-of-the-art centers.

We’re happy to provide a free MRI review* to help you find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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