A Herniated Disc Can be a Cause of Sciatica
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A Herniated Disc -
Another Cause of Sciatica

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A herniated disc in the lower back can press on the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica. A herniation (or bulge) is when a disc protrudes out from between the vertebrae. Herniations can be caused by an accident or, more commonly, by months or years of uneven pressure due to muscle imbalances.

This is probably one of the most common diagnoses for sciatica. If it is the cause of sciatica, the thing to do is to find the cause of the herniation and address that. If you don't deal with what caused the disc to herniate in the first place, you'll likely struggle with back pain or sciatica for years.

herniated-disc

You can see in this MRI (to the left), the disc bulging out to the right and pressing on the nerve. This is what can happen when a muscle imbalance is not corrected.

Of those patients treated with surgery for such disc problems, about one-third do not experience relief from their sciatica. (Statistics from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Radiological Society of North America and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.)

People need to understand that many of their problems are due to lifestyle and, in many cases, the problems can be corrected by a change in lifestyle.

In the majority of cases, a disc herniation is caused by a muscle imbalance.

muscle imbalance

In the picture to the left, the effect of a muscle imbalance is shown as the spine is being pulled out of place causing a forward rotation of the pelvis and a greater stooping in the shoulders.

When muscles pull the spine out of alignment, the resulting uneven pressure and compression on the vertebrae causes the discs to wear much faster than normal and puts additional stress on the discs.

The discs are designed for correct upright posture and when that is not maintained they can begin to bulge or herniate.


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Herniated disc
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