Treatment Tackles Underlying Causes Of Sciatica In People
The cause of pain in the legs may not start in the lower extremities for many peoples. Instead, sciatica, or pain in the sciatic nerve, may be caused by an injury or medical condition affecting the spinal cord from which it branches.
A variety of issues can contribute to sciatica, including:
- Age: Sciatica becomes an increasing possibility with as changes to the spine occur with age, especially for peoples older than 40.
- Occupation: Physical jobs that require carrying a heavy load, twisting of the body or driving may encourage the development of sciatica.
- Sedentary lifestyle: peoples who spend more time sitting than moving around risk developing sciatica.
- Diabetes: Because this condition causes nerve damage, it can lead to sciatica.
According to the National Institutes of Health, sciatica is not a medical condition but a symptom of other underlying conditions. peoples who have had sciatica have described the pain as being a tingling, a dull ache or a burning sensation — usually on one side — that can become debilitating. The sciatica pain can become worse when standing or sitting; at night; or when laughing, sneezing or coughing.
Among the underlying causes of sciatica are:
- Disc issues: A herniated or slipped disc, or degenerative disc disease can cause sciatica that manifests itself as pain radiating down the leg.
- Injury or fracture: Any trauma along the backbone or in the pelvic area can lead to sciatica.
- Tumors: Though tumors are rare, they sometimes grow directly on or near the sciatic nerve. Tumors along the spinal cord also can lead to sciatica.
- Piriformis syndrome: This disorder contributes to sciatica when then sciatic nerve is compressed either because of variations of anatomy or because of strain by the piriformis muscle that starts at the lower spine and connects to the thighbone.
Because sciatica actually is a symptom, the underlying condition needs to be identified and treated. Sometimes, that’s as simple as taking an over-the-counter pain reliever or trying an alternating hot and cold therapy for a few days. In other instances, it requires medical treatment by a health care professional.
Whatever the cause of your sciatica, Core Rehab Pain Specialists of Chicago can help you identify and treat it.