Causes of Sciatica Pain
Causes of Sciatica Pain
While there are not that many potential causes of sciatica pain, the complexity and severity of the condition requires that it is given due understanding in order for it to be managed and treated correctly. Often, patients who are misinformed about the actual causes of back pain will think of it as something fairly ordinary and therefore not seek the right medical attention. It is with these cases that the causes of sciatica pain are exacerbated often resulting in the need for surgical intervention.
At its most basic, sciatica pain refers to a condition where the patient experiences a sharp sensation or pain shooting through the back, the buttocks and down into the legs. In addition to pain, patients may also experience periodic feelings of numbness or weakness in the area. This condition implies that the sciatica nerve is affected and immediately opens up the list of likely causes of sciatica pain.
When sciatica pain is being observed, doctor will often resort to imaging techniques to find out which anatomical structures in the back are affecting the sciatica nerve. The likely causes of sciatica pain boil down to whether the lumbar nerves L3 to L5 or the sacral nerves S1 to S3 are impinging on the sciatica nerve resulting in pressure, compression, and pain. In most cases, a bulging disc is also to blame for the pain. In rare cases, the hole through which the sciatica nerve exits the spine becomes narrower and compresses the nerve at that specific point only. In women, pregnancy may also be one of the causes of sciatica pain as the weight of the fetus rests on the sciatica nerve when the mother assumes certain positions such as when she is seated down.
Treatment of sciatica pain, in cases where it is caused by anatomical abnormalities like a disc herniation or a narrowing of the natural sciatica exit hole, requires therapy or surgery depending on the severity. Prescribing pain medication is also a crucial part of the treatment regimen as a temporary form of relief while the underlying cause is yet to be addressed. In extreme cases where pain becomes too severe, epidural injections will be prescribed to provide remedy for up to 8 weeks.
Therapy involves visiting a chiropractor or physical therapist for corrections and adjustments to fix the causes of sciatica pain. Stretching routines, exercises, heat application, massage and spinal manipulation are common components of therapy sessions. Spinal manipulation, in particular, involves stretching exercises as well as other forms of therapy which a patient may be asked to have done.
In severe cases, surgery will be required to eliminate the cause altogether. Some surgical procedures will only alleviate the pressure by widening the spinal canal while others will take out the herniated disc altogether. Whatever is the chosen treatment procedure, patients should actively partner with their doctors to collectively determine the best approach to the problem and ensure that the treatment is targeted towards the specifics out of the many potential causes of sciatica pain.
This condition should not be taken for granted and not dismissed as just any other back pain. Sciatica pain is real and the causes of sciatica pain will only serve to drive this message home. At the first indication of sciatica pain, patients should strive to immediately see a doctor and seek viable treatment options. Only then can one be assured that the condition does not progress beyond what can be managed by typical treatment procedures.