For good overall health, individuals should see a functional medicine chiropractor. You may not be familiar with what this professional does and how one can help. As you learn more about a functional medicine chiropractor, one can understand the benefits of going to one. Nothing is more important than your health and wellness. Let this…
What Are the Common Causes of Sciatica?
Sciatica is typically a symptom of an underlying medical condition a person is dealing with. Understanding the root cause of sciatica allows healthcare professionals to provide treatments that address the real issue instead of focusing on the symptom caused by the condition – sciatica.
Sciatic nerve injuries are often the result of an abnormal immune system response to an issue the body is dealing with, inflammation, or direct compression of a nerve. It can also be a combination of all these factors.
Typical causes of sciatica
Here are some of the most common reason why people develop sciatica:
1. Lumbar herniated disc
Some research indicates about 90% of sciatica cases are caused by a herniated disc in the lumbar spine. The disc ends up pushing against one of the spinal nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve.
It can be the result of direct compression as is the case when the soft part of a lumbar disc leaks out and pushes against the sciatic nerve or when a disc bulges against it. A herniated lumbar disc can also lead to a chemical called hyaluronan leaking out from the disc, causing irritation and leaking around the sciatic nerve.
The way a herniated disc compresses against the sciatic nerve affects how its symptoms manifest. For example, it can bulge in a way that only affects one leg or it might bulge on both sides, causing symptoms in both legs.
The degeneration of tissues in the lumbar spine can also lead to irritation and compression of the sciatic nerve. The breakdown of the facet joints can lead to inflammation in their joint capsules, while the breakdown of vertebral bones can lead to abnormal growths that compress against the roots of the sciatic nerve. Degenerated discs sometimes secrete proteins that irritate and inflame the sciatic nerve.
3. Lumbar spinal stenosis
This is a common issue in adults over 60. It is a narrowing of a person’s spinal canal and that sometimes leads to the sciatic nerve or its roots being compressed. It is arguably the most common reason for sciatica in seniors.
This is often the result of a tiny stress fracture causing a vertebral body to slip over another. This can lead to the compression of the sciatic nerve. This condition is more likely to lead to bilateral sciatica and young adults are most affected by it.
Get the treatment you need
The conditions that lead to sciatica can develop spontaneously due to an injury or trauma or they might occur slowly over time. Falls, slips, and vehicle accidents are also common causes of injury to the sciatic nerve. Health conditions like herniated discs and spondylolisthesis can be the result of the stress placed on the spine during physical activities like weightlifting.
The first step towards effective treatment is figuring out the cause of your condition. Once that has been identified, a permanent solution to your condition can be administered. Call or visit our Reno clinic to set up an appointment with our chiropractor.
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