Sciatica is referred to the pain which is caused by the irritation or damage to the sciatic nerve. Sciatic nerves actually lie in the spinal cord and ends in the lower part of body. Function of the nerve primarily is to control the muscles of the back of leg providing a sensation to the back of lower body part including even the sole of the foot.
Common causes include the compression of lumbar nerves, sacral nerves or the sciatic nerve itself. Roughening, enlarging and misalignment of the vertebrae are also one of the common causes of the pain.
Some less common causes on the other hand includes;
- Pregnancy: change in the body a woman undergoes during pregnancy is the weight gain, which results in the possibility of sciatica even with the loss of the center of gravity.
- Scar tissues: if the scar tissue is irritating the sciatic nerve, it can cause sciatica.
- Muscle strain: Hyper activity of muscles causing inflammation. It can put pressure on the nerve root and can cause sciatica
- Infection: though it’s not the cause in usual cases, yet any infection in lower back, thus affecting the nerve can cause the pain
Certain known causes of the pain includes Piriformis syndrome, slipped disk, degenerative disk disease, spinal stenosis, pelvic injury or any kind of tumor
This problem is referred to as spinal disc herniation. Spinal discs actually contain nucleus pulposusin them, a relatively flexible and soft center. These discs separate vertebrae allowing end roots of spinal nerves to get a way. But when the disc’s softer part bulges out, due to any unexpected wrong body posture or lifting of heavy weight at once, it damages the nerve endings, causing severe pain. This pain might be due to unusual weight lifting or bending of body in wrong body postures, resulting into the irritation of sciatic nerves also causes the same pain.
In a relatively less proportion of population, sciatic nerve passes through the piriformis muscle instead of passing beneath it. The sciatic nerves are the largest nerves in the body and are important relative to the magnitude of their size. They come out of the spinal column low in the back and then go behind the hip joint, down the buttock to the foot. When the pirifromis muscle is over used or stressed, it shortens, compressing the sciatic nerve, which in turn results in the irritation and pain in back and the lower part of the body. This cause of the disease is also referred to as entrapment neuropathies.
When the spinal canal narrows, it causes to compress the spinal cord and thus build tension in the spinal nerves.Lumbar spinal stenosis also refers to the same cause. This can be caused by bone spurs or disk herniation.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction:
Damage to the sacroiliac joint at the bottom of the spine can irritate the L5 nerve. This nerve lies on the top of the sacroiliac joint, and thus is able to cause sciatica like pain.
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