What Causes Sciatica Symptoms?
When you are diagnosed with sciatica symptoms, it is only the beginning of your journey to find relief. Sciatica is not an injury or disease, but a classification of symptoms that involve the sciatic nerves. There are multiple spine conditions that can result in sciatica or lumbar radiculopathy involving the sciatic nerves. To get relief, treatment must help address the source of pain in the lower spine.
Common Sciatica Symptoms
The sciatic nerves are the largest nerves in the body and exit the spine in the lumbar region. Each sciatic nerve travels through the lower back down through the pelvic area into each leg. When the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated, it can affect not only the lower back or lumbar spine, but also radiate along the nerve. Some of the symptoms of sciatica include:
- Lower back pain
- Tingling, numbness or weakness traveling through the hip and leg
- Radiating pain or burning sensation through buttocks and leg
- Radiating pain and weakness into the foot
Sciatica usually only affects one side of the body – the radiating pain, numbness or weakness will generally only be felt on the left or right hip/leg/foot.
Causes of Lumbar Radiculopathy
There are a few spinal conditions that can result in sciatica symptoms. Anything that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve roots as they exit the spine can cause radiculopathy that travels down the nerve into the buttocks, leg and foot. Risk factors can include obesity, sitting for long periods, a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes and aging, which can result in sciatic nerve irritation or damage. Common conditions that result in sciatica symptoms include:
- Slipped spinal disc
- Herniated or bulging spinal disc
- Bone spurs or spinal stenosis
- Piriformis syndrome
- Spinal tumors (rare)
Determining the source of the sciatic nerve compression is important for creating an effective treatment plan. Our medical team at Medici Spine and Pain Center can isolate the cause of sciatic nerve pain and create a treatment plan that can relieve these symptoms. In most cases, conservative treatments that are minimally or non-invasive can be effective, including physical therapy, injections and interventional pain treatments. When conservative treatments are not effective, minimally invasive surgery may be required to relieve nerve compression.
If you have pain, numbness or weakness traveling from your lower back into your buttocks and leg, you may be experiencing sciatica symptoms. To find the cause of your discomfort, come see us at Medici Spine & Pain for an accurate diagnosis and sciatica treatment options.
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