Do you experience sharp, quick pains or tingling in your lower back? Do you find you have pain or weakness in one leg? If this sounds like your situation, you could be suffering from sciatica pains. Sciatica is not a diagnosis in itself but an underlying condition of other medical issues. Below, our Fort Myers back pain doctor describes the six common causes of sciatica.
1. Lumbar herniated disc
You could be experiencing sciatica pain from a lumbar herniated disc. The discs in your spine are shaped similarly to a tire with a gel-like center and an outer wall. A herniated disc is caused by the gel-like inner material leaking out of the disk and irritating the contiguous nerve root causing sciatic pain.
2. Isthmic Spondylolisthesis
This condition occurs when one vertebra slips forward over an adjacent vertebra causing nerve root compression. When the nerve is compressed in this manner, patients often feel sciatic leg pain. People who commonly experience spondylolisthesis are born with the condition and it develops during childhood or it develops from spinal degeneration.
3. Degenerative disc disease
As we age, most people experience levels of disc degeneration. Some experience rapid degeneration in the lower back that can irritate the sciatic nerve root causing pain. Someone diagnosed with a weakened disc has inflammatory proteins that are being released from the disc which irritate the nerve root causing sciatic pain.
If someone experiences a serious impact on their spine from a car crash, falling down, or sports injury, the impact of the accident could cause the compression of the spinal nerves.
5. Spinal tumors
You could also be experiencing sciatic pain from a spinal tumor. Tumors are abnormal growths that can be either benign or malignant. When a tumor is considered malignant, it is cancerous. If the tumor has developed in the lumbar region, it could be compressing the nerve sending pain to your lower back and leg.
The initial symptoms of sciatica pain can come on quite suddenly. It might begin with lower back pain, and also travel to the buttocks, the back of the legs, the feet and toes, and even to the calves and thighs. The symptoms may be mild for some, or severe, depending on the intensity of the symptoms.
The sensation is reminiscent of an electrical shock. Some patients describe it as burning that radiates from deep within. Sciatica pain is not necessarily considered a medical disorder, but a symptom of other underlying back or spine issues. This might include a herniated disc or pinched nerve, for example, and even diabetes.
Your overall current health and the lifestyle choices can have a tremendous impact on your back or spine health. Being overweight or obese, and sedentary are stressful on the spine, which supports your whole body.
Pain Medicine Group and our Fort Myers sciatica doctors can offer many different sciatica pain management options to help ease some of the symptoms. Some of our treatments focus on the body, such as physical therapy, medication management, and chiropractic care. Our other treatment options rely on cutting-edge technology that involving stem cell therapy or platelet-rich therapies. These might include discogram, or spinal cord stimulator, as examples.
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If you are experiencing pain in your lower back or legs, you should contact a Fort Myers Sciatica doctor for information on how your pain could be managed and treated. Contact us today to book your first appointment.