Do you have ongoing trouble with pain in your back or your legs? Have you tried everything, but it only seems to get worse?
Sciatica can be resolved, but about 20%-30% of people have persistent problems that continue after several years. It can make the most basic movements painful.
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It can be affected by many things. It’s important to understand what causes sciatic nerve pain, so you can take action.
Learn about the common causes of sciatica in this straightforward guide.
Your Sciatic Nerve May Be Pinched
The main signs of sciatica are pain or numbness along the sciatic nerve. That’s the long nerve running from your lower back, down the back of your leg. The pain is a symptom that something is pinching or putting pressure on the nerve.
Common Causes of Sciatica
There are a few personal factors that can put you at a higher risk of sciatic nerve pain. As you get older, you may experience age-related changes in your spine. Obesity puts stress on your spine as well.
Taller people are at a higher risk of getting sciatica. Cigarette smoking and high levels of mental stress can contribute to inflammation. Diabetes increases your risk of nerve damage, which can cause leg nerve pain.
There are common occupational factors associated with increased incidence of leg nerve pain. Hard physical work that may include heavy lifting and turning may play a role. It’s always a good idea to consult a professional.
Exposure to constant vibration from driving or other sources is one factor to consider. People who sit for long periods of time are more likely to have leg nerve pain.
The Discs Between Your Vertebra Are Aging
The discs between your vertebra act as cushions. As you age they can get dried out and cause problems in your lumbar or lower back. That’s called degenerative disc disease.
They can rupture or be injured, which puts pressure on your sciatic nerve. That’s called herniated lumbar discs. Your vertebrae can crack or slip, affecting the structure of your spine. Spondylolysis often leads to pinched nerves.
Arthritis Can Cause Pressure on Nerves
When you have osteoarthritis, it can cause bone spurs on your vertebra. These growths can cause pressure on your nerves. Arthritis can narrow the passages where the nerves leave the spinal cord.
Tight Piriformis Muscle Causes Compression
The piriformis is the large muscle close to your sciatic nerve. It’s a band in your buttocks, near the top of your hip joint. When this muscle gets tight, it can affect your entire leg.
Both frequent running or too much sitting are factors that can influence this muscle. It can tighten from over or underuse, and can be one of the main sciatica causes.
Control Your Leg Nerve Pain
Understanding the common causes of sciatica will help you know what you can do. A proper diagnosis of the underlying cause of your problem is important. Knowledge can help you find the sciatica treatment that will work for you.
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