3 Things That Might Be Causing Your Sciatica
If you experience radiating pain that starts in your lower back and makes its way into your buttock and to the back of one leg, you may have a condition known as sciatica. Sciatica can cause a leg cramp that gets worse every time you sneeze, cough, or even sit.
You may also feel numbness, burning, and tingling along your leg. The good news is that sciatica is typically short-lived and can be resolved without surgery. It rarely lasts for more than six weeks. So what exactly may be causing your sciatica? Keep reading to find out.
1 - Herniated Disc
A herniated disc occurs when a portion of the disc in your back leaves its proper place and causes bulging. While the majority of herniated discs arise in the lower back, they may happen in the neck as well. The most common symptoms of herniated disc include numbness, tingling, and pain.
This condition is usually the result of age-related wear and tear known as disc degeneration. As you get older, your discs lose their flexibility and become more susceptible to tear and ruptures. Herniated disc symptoms typically affect one side of the body.
2 - Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and often seen in older adults. It can lead to swelling, pain, and less range of motion in your joints. These symptoms almost always develop gradually and become progressively worse.
The most common cause of osteoarthritis is cartilage that slowly deteriorates. This is the tissue that allows for optimal joint function. Unfortunately, osteoarthritis can make it difficult for you to complete everyday tasks.
3 - Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is a condition that occurs when your spine narrows and causes nerve pressure. Typically, spinal stenosis leads to pain, hot or cold sensations, and tingling. It can also lead to bladder loss control, pain, decreased activity, and disability.
If you have spinal stenosis, it's likely the result of age-related spinal degeneration. You may also have it because of trauma or spinal deformity like scoliosis.
In most cases, sciatica treatment starts with conservative treatments that resolve the condition and prevent recurrence. Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen may alleviate some of the discomfort.
Physical therapy, epidural steroid injections, and self care measures like heat, ice, and rest may help as well. Muscle relaxants may also be an option if you're experiencing spasms. If surgery is necessary, discectomy or laminectomy may be performed.