What Causes Sciatica - Actually a Symptom - Is a Variety of Different Conditions
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What Causes Sciatica?

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Knowing what causes sciatica in your case is important to help solve the problem. Most commonly, sciatica is a result of one of these four primary conditions (follow each link to learn more about the conditions listed):

Sciatica Piriformis Syndrome (click for more detailed info) also known as Piriformis Syndrome is the most common cause of sciatica. It occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated by the piriformis muscle. About 15% of people have their sciatic nerve running through the piriformis muscle, making them more likely to experience sciatic pain. If the pain starts in the buttock it is more likely from this cause.

A herniated disc in the lumbar region of the back may cause sciatic nerve pain by compressing one of the sciatic nerve roots when pressure on the spinal disc causes it to bulge or rupture. Spinal disc herniation is a common cause of sciatica. If the pain begins in the back it is more likely to be from this cause.

Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal space becomes constricted due to inflammation, bone spurs, or other causes. If this happens in the lower back, nerve roots associated with the sciatic nerve may get pinched and cause sciatic nerve pain.

Isthmic spondylolisthesis is a condition where one vertebra slides across another during certain activities instead of maintaining its proper position. Spondylolisthesis can irritate or place painful pressure on sciatic nerve roots.


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Sciatica may also be caused or worsened by irritation or inflammation of the sciatic nerve by any of a number of different factors including:

  1. bad posture
  2. bone spurs
  3. degenerative arthritis
  4. high heels
  5. infection or injury (car accidents etc.)
  6. internal bleeding
  7. muscle strain or spasm
  8. overweight
  9. pregnancy
  10. sitting for extended periods
  11. sleeping on a too-soft mattress
  12. tumors
  13. sitting on a wallet
  14. using a heavy or unbalanced tool belt

Identify what causes your sciatica and you are on your way to knowing how to not just treat the symptoms but to remove the source of the problem. Examine the list of factors above, especially the four most common causes and try to determine (you may need to consult a professional) what causes sciatica in your case so that you can move on to the most appropriate treatment among medical options or home remedies for sciatica. You may find that some of the exercises for relieving sciatica are very helpful.

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