Sciatica or sciatic nerve pain occurs when there is pressure on the sciatic nerve due to a herniated disc or a spine’s bone spur. People suffering from sciatica can experience an array of symptoms, including a dull ache, sharp pain, or a burning sensation in the lower back going down the hips, buttocks, and leg all the way to the feet.
It’s quite hard to predict when someone will develop sciatica, but there are several known factors that increase a person’s risk:
- Age – As you age, you should expect changes involving your spine. This includes herniated discs and bone spurs, which are considered the most common causes of sciatica. Pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve when the discs that cushion your vertebrae break into pieces or bulge outward.
- Obesity – The spine experiences stress when it carries extra weight, contributing to spinal problems that trigger sciatica.
- Diabetes – Because diabetes affects your body’s way of expending blood sugar, this can increase your risk of nerve damage.
- A person’s job/daily routine –Your spine is put under stress if you constantly twist your back, carry heavy loads, or sit/drive for long periods of time. Many medical experts believe that this constant pressure leads to a higher risk of sciatica.
- Trauma or spinal injury – The intervertebral disc is ruptured when the spine is injured or traumatized. This puts pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Spinal stenosis – Spinal stenosis is a condition where the area along the spinal canal narrows. This also puts extra pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Mild cases of sciatica usually resolve themselves over time. If your sciatica has lasted for longer than a week or gets worse, your should make it a point to see a spine specialist. A specialist can discuss possible treatment options, such as minimally invasive orthopedic procedures. If you suddenly experiences severe back or leg pain, muscle numbness, or weakness, it is best to get immediate medical attention. If you think you have sciatica, don’t hesitate to contact Spine Center of Texas.