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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Sciatica Risk Factors

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Tue, Feb 12, 2013 @ 11:33 AM


sciatica chicagoSciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched causing severe pain. The sciatic nerve starts in the low back and travels down the entire leg into the feet and big toe. The most common symptom that results from sciatica is pain that radiates down the leg. For more about what sciatica is please click here and read "The 8 Most Important Things You Must Know If You Are Dealing With Sciatica!"

Sciatica often occurs as a result of the normal aging process but there are also numerous factors that can increase this process. 

Risk Factors for Sciatica Include:

  • Age. As I said above aging can cause many different changes to the spine such as herniated discs, which is a common cause of sciatica.
  • Being Inactive. If you don’t exercise and keep moving the muscles in your lower back will weaken increasing your chances of sciatica.
  • Obesity. The weight increases the stress on your spine contributing to spinal changes that may trigger sciatica.
  • Smoking. Cigarettes can reduce overall health in your spine.
  • Occupation. If your job requires you to lift heavy objects, do a lot of twisting, constant physical activity and or drive for long periods of time then you can be at risk for sciatica.
  • Participating in high-impact sports you are always at risk to hurting your spine.
  • Not stretching or stretching incorrectly.
  • Prolonged sitting leads to a sedentary lifestyle, which can put you at risk for sciatica.
  • Alcohol. Consuming excessive alcohol reduces overall spine health.
  • Diabetes. This condition increases your risk of nerve damage.
  • Walking and running can likely increase the risk of sciatica. Due to the repeated contraction of the hip muscle called the piriformis muscle. This muscle tightens & can cause irritation to the sciatica nerve.
  • Pregnancy. Due to the hormonal changes and position of the baby you could be at risk for sciatica.
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