What triggers sciatica? 

What triggers sciatica? 

Sciatica, a condition caused by pressure being put onto the sciatic nerve, can be painful. While mild cases can go away with self-care, severe or persistent pain means that a visit to your doctor might be in order. If you’re struggling with sciatica, or any other type of back pain, our physicians at Pain Control Associates, LLC., will take the time to examine your condition and provide the highest quality of service in your treatment. 

What exactly is sciatica?

The sciatic nerve runs through the lower back and down each leg. This means that when something pinches or puts pressure on it, the pain can radiate out through those areas. The actual extent of pain experienced can vary significantly, although it will normally only affect one side of your body. 

Triggers and causes

According to Harvard Health, there are a number of possibilities for what can be putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. One of the most common is a herniated disc. With a herniated disc, a piece of that soft cushion between your vertebrae tears or ruptures, bulging out and pressing against the nerve. Herniated discs can be caused by strains or other injuries, and the risk of them occurring increases as you get older. 

It’s also possible for an injury to damage the nerve directly. The writers at Harvard Health point specifically to those injuries that affect the buttock or hamstring, where the sciatic nerve also runs (for instance, a sports injury). 

While less common than a herniated disc, other back problems can also trigger sciatica. Spinal stenosis, a condition in which the spinal canal itself is too small, is one example. There are also instances where pressure can be put onto the sciatic nerve during the later stages of pregnancy, a time when plenty is shifting and changing in your body. 

Who gets sciatica?

Anyone can get sciatica, but there are certain risk factors that increase the chance that you will develop the condition. Age is the largest risk factor because conditions like herniated discs and bone spurs are more common in older people. However, obesity may also play a role. 

In some cases, your occupation might increase your risk, whether from a work-related injury or from having to sit for long periods of time. At your first pain appointment, our physicians will take the time to discuss your medical history to better understand you and your symptoms. Because sciatica can result from so many different conditions, it’s important to develop a thorough understanding of what is actually causing the pain before moving forward with a treatment. 

Making an appointment

If you’re in pain, chances are good that you want answers. The number of possible triggers for sciatica is diverse, but our physicians at Pain Control Associates, LLC. will take the time to work with you individually and determine the best course of action. To learn more, schedule an appointment with one of our pain control specialists today. 

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