Sunday, April 19, 2009

What is Causing My Sciatica??

Sciatica or a lumbar radiculapathy is when pressure is put on one or more of your lumbar nerve roots. The nerve roots in the lower lumbars form together to make the sciatic nerve which travels down the leg. It gives off numerous branches that go to various parts of the leg – your toes, muscles, blood vessels, etc. Hence the term sciatica. It’s the general term for pain going from the lower body down the leg.

So what’s causing the pressure? The main pressure is from inflammation in the area. This is usually caused by a disc injury, trauma, facet irritation, arthritic changes, or stenosis. A disc bulge for example may put pressure on a nerve inflamming the nerve, causing pain or another symptom. The facet joints, which are the joints that exist just behind where the nerve roots exit off the spinal cord, can get irritated from a disc bulge can create inflammation which closes in on the nerve root.

Lumbar nerve roots come together to form the sciatic nerve which travels down the leg

In fact many things can cause irritation and inflammation in the low back. This is why so many people have experienced a severe episode or two of back pain. Even a severe strain or muscle spasm can create significant pain. A irritation to muscles in the low back or buttocks can cause radiculopathy or sciatica. Remember the nerve roots exit out of hole called foramen and form together into the sciatic nerve. Therefore spasm, muscle inflammation and strain of one or more of the muscles located in this region can cause problems. Also, the sciatic nerve, before it travel down the leg, goes through two heads of the piriformis muscle which is located in the buttocks.

Another common cause of pain is a spinal misalignment. A trauma to the low back, maybe a car accident or a fall, or a sports injury can cause a shift of the spine. Muscle spasm, poor posture, and heavy lifting are a few other causes of misalignments or subluxations.

Someone can even have a specific misalignment called a spondylolesthesis which is a shift of vertebrae forward or backwards on the one below it. This is often more severe and can be from a trauma but also one may be born with it or it happens because of severe lumbar degeneration.

These are the many causes of your back and leg pain. The next blog post I’ll cover treatment options for individuals currently suffering from lumbar radiculopathy.
If you have specific questions about a lumbar radiculopathy or sciatica or have tried various treatments with no real success, call our Glastonbury CT office at 860-633-8756 to find out if we may be able to help.

CT Spine and Disc Center is located in central Connecticut- Specializing in patients who suffer from sciatica, disc degeneration, bulging disc or herniated disc in the lumbar spine. Call us at 860-633-8756 to see if you are a candidate for non surgical spinal decompression

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Lucy Bartlett said...
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Robby Field said...

credit for your photo....


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