El Paso’s chiropractor, Dr. Alex Jimenez discusses the causes of sciatic nerve pain and its symptoms. Sciatica, refers to a group of symptoms instead of a single condition. Sciatic pain most commonly affects the lower back, hip, buttocks, and outer side of the leg. The greater majority of the population has experienced some form of low back pain in their lifetime and the causes for their sciatic nerve pain are numerous.
Sciatica is characterized by symptoms of sharp pain extending from the lower back down to the leg, tingling sensations and numbness that is caused by compression, irritation, or pressure of the sciatic nerve. True sciatica occurs where a pinched nerve develops as a result of a degenerative disc disorder, such as a herniated disc or an osteoarthritis bone spur. A herniated disc occurs when the cushion that separates a vertebrae of the spine ruptures, ultimately pushing against the space of the nerve, compressing the sciatic nerve root and resulting in the symptoms of sciatica.
A bulging disc also causes irritation and pressure against the sciatic nerve roots. A person who developed a bulging disc will experience lower back pain that extends into the leg and often times, also extending down to the toes. The inflammation of the muscles due to a degenerative disc disease may also add additional stress against the sciatic nerve, leading to additional pain and discomfort.
Research shows that low back pain causes more global disability than any other condition. Degenerative disc diseases start developing in people over the age of 55 due to natural wear and tear throughout the years and as the population of the elderly continues to grow, sciatica and its symptoms are becoming more common. The body’s degeneration is inevitable, for some people being faster than other, but with a healthy balance of stretches and exercises, the impingement of the sciatic nerve roots and the sciatica symptoms can be relieved and eased.