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3 Common Causes of Sciatica

Categories: Back Pain

We’re no strangers to sciatica pain as Long Island’s leading orthopedist. 

The specialists at Central Orthopedic Group develop treatment plans for the purpose of eliminating chronic pain in our patients every day. Of course, sports injuries are likely the most frequent affliction we treat. However, there are plenty of other common issues in the landscape of orthopedic medicine. And one significant issue facing many patients is sciatica. 

Most people have, at the very least, heard the word before. But, most are unaware that the term “sciatica” does not indicate a diagnosis. Rather, it’s actually one symptom of a greater, overall spinal condition. Regardless, it’s extremely painful, causes immense discomfort and greatly reduces quality of life in those afflicted. In this post, we’ll discuss the most common causes of sciatica and explore the symptoms, as well. 

First, What Is Sciatica? 

Sciatica is a distinctively-sharp, shocking pain that begins either in the hip or lower back. Then, it travels down the back of the thigh, buttocks and sometimes, the calf. Like most conditions, sciatica’s effects can be mild and generally tolerable. 

However, it can also be severe to the point where the pain is debilitating. When a spinal nerve experiences irritation, it induces this pain and radiates the sensation throughout the body. But, the actual source of the irritation can vary. Spinal epidural injections can be an effective, but temporary, way to ease the pain. 

Here’s 3 common reason you may be having sciatica pain:

1. Herniated Disc 

Between each of the spine’s vertebrae, pockets of soft cartilage (intervertebral discs) absorb the numerous shocks that our spinal columns experience daily. These occur while we’re performing even the most rudimentary physical tasks. Also, they’re especially crucial to our health as we distribute most of our weight to the lower back whenever we walk or stand. 

However, when we damage one or more of these discs, they begin to protrude into the spinal canal. Often, pieces of the disc will make contact with the spinal nerve and place exorbitant pressure on it. As a result, it produces the intense, burning pain that defines sciatica.  

2. Spinal Stenosis 

Basically, your spine is a column of bones that provide support for your upper body. Within this column is a network of nerves running through the vertebrae, which carry signals from your brain to the rest of your body.

The bones encasing these nerves protect them from damage or impact. If anything affects them, it can have a negative impact on simple motor functions like walking or running.

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal column narrows and starts compressing the cord. Usually, it’s a very gradual process. Sometimes spinal stenosis can be so narrow that it doesn’t produce any symptoms. However, too much narrowing becomes problematic and painful, and leads to sciatica. 

3. Osteoarthritis 

This condition occurs when our bones, joints and soft tissue begin to erode with old age or injury.  And like all of the joints within our bodies, our spine’s facet joints are susceptible to osteoarthritis

When they’re experiencing irritation, inflammation or pressure, the network of nerves within their direct proximity may be, as well. However, sometimes bone spurs develop and begin to exert pressure on nerve roots, which causes sciatica. 

Treat Your Sciatica Today at Central Orthopedic

More than anything, we’re passionate about healing our patients. Of course, eliminating the pain and discomfort from conditions like sciatica is one of our central priorities. As Long Island’s leading orthopedists, we’re no strangers to these scenarios and can provide swift diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Therefore, if you’re experiencing sciatica pain, the most effective step you can take to recover is to make an appointment. Remember: sciatica treatment is easiest when it’s begun in its earliest stages. So don’t postpone your treatment – if you want to ensure the most swift, convenient and effective recovery, make your appointment today.