Common causes of sciatica
Sciatica is a term that describes the pain and symptoms of a pinched sciatic nerve.
The compression of the sciatic nerve causes a variety of symptoms, ranging from chronic lower back pain to numbness and tingling in the legs and feet. Because the sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, the severe pain that occurs from a compressed sciatic nerve can prevent you from doing even the simplest activities, like sitting or sleeping.
If you are experiencing pain in the lower back and extremities that has lasted longer than a week, or that seems to be worsening, you should consult your doctor about what is causing your pain. Your doctor can perform a series of physical and imaging tests to determine what is pressing against your sciatic nerve and the best method of treatment to relieve your pain.
Common causes of sciatica pain
The most common cause of chronic sciatica pain is a degenerative spine condition.
A degenerative spine condition describes damage that develops in the spine due to years of natural wear and tear. These types of conditions often develop in the lower back because the lumbar spine is responsible for supporting the majority of the body’s weight. Excess weight gain and repetitive bending motions can cause the discs and joints of the lumbar spine to deteriorate faster than other areas of the spine.
As the spine deteriorates, certain components of the spine can move out of alignment, such as a bulging disc or herniated disc. When this happens, the damaged portion of the spine can press against the sciatic nerve, resulting in extreme and chronic pain.
Common degenerative spine conditions that can lead to sciatica include:
- Bulging disc
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease (DDD)
- Spinal stenosis
- Bone spurs (osteophytes)
- Arthritis of the spine (osteoarthritis)
Finding pain relief from sciatica
Your physician can recommend a treatment option based on the cause of your sciatica pain and your medical history. You will most likely begin with conservative treatments, which include:
- Pain medication
- Physical therapy
- Lifestyle changes like exercise, weight loss and stopping the use of tobacco and alcohol
- Chiropractic care
- Massage therapy
- Yoga and stretching
If these methods of treatment do not provide pain relief, your physician may suggest that you undergo spine surgery.
Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive decompression and stabilization surgery to treat the most common causes of sciatica pain. Whether a small portion of the damaged disc in the lower back needs to be removed or the entire disc needs to be replaced with an artificial one, our minimally invasive surgery can help reduce your symptoms by removing the pressure from your sciatic nerve.
Contact us today to request an MRI review and ask about the benefits of our minimally invasive spine surgery.