If you are a chronic sciatica sufferer, your recurrent pain and related symptoms may be due to a variety of causes. Sciatica itself is a symptom of a medical condition and includes leg pain, a pins-and-needles or burning feeling in the legs, feet, arms and/or hands. You may or may not have back pain. Sciatica occurs when the spinal cord is narrowed, placing pressure on the sciatic nerve. Once this large nerve becomes irritated, you may experience recurring pain and other symptoms all along its length.
Top sciatica causes
Following are common causes of chronic sciatica, placed generally in order of frequency of occurrence, although statistics vary widely—meaning there’s no strict, universally agreed-upon, numerical order. Often more than one of the following factors contributes to sciatica:
- Bulging discs, also called slipped or herniated discs, in the lower back (lumbar area)
- Piriformis syndrome, when a small muscle deep within the buttocks tightens or spasms, applying pressure to/irritating the sciatic nerve
- Spondylolisthesis, vertebral slippage so that a spinal bone is out of line, narrowing the opening through which the nerve exits
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing of spinal cord and pressure on nerve roots)
- Bulging or herniated disc(s) in the neck (cervical) area
- Pregnancy, with its hormonal changes, weight gain and shift in the body’s center of gravity
- Degenerative disc disease
- Stress fractures
- Wear and tear on bones and soft tissues in the back
- Repetitive stress from lifting and bending
- Scar tissue
- Past injuries
- Being overweight
- Bad diet/poor nutrition
- Lack of exercise/being sedentary, when muscles grow weak, especially in the core part of your body (the back, stomach, hips and neck), they don’t provide proper support for your spine, make sciatica pain more likely.
- Smoking can harm your overall health and make your back more susceptible to injury or illness.
Treating sciatica naturally
To avoid the onset of sciatica pain or lessen sciatica's effect on your life, natural treatments are very effective. An individualized treatment plan is best, so come into the Illinois Back Institute or see your back specialist for proper diagnosis and a combination of treatments which may include: physical therapy, manual adjustments of the spine (chiropractic care), exercise and Functional Disc RehydrationTM. The latter is a revolutionary and proven effective non-invasive treatment to rejuvenate the spine, developed by the co-founder of the Illinois Back Institute, Dr. Jeff Winternheimer, D.C. Contact us today for a free consultation with a back specialist.