Sciatica refers to a type of pain affecting the sciatic nerve which extends from your lower back down into the back of each leg. Despite the popular belief that sciatica is a spinal disorder, it is actually the symptom of another underlying condition. For example, sciatica may be caused by pressure along the sciatic nerve—often as the result of lumbar spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, or spondylolisthesis. This pressure or constriction of the sciatic nerve may lead to a number of symptoms, including burning or tingling sensations in the legs, pain in the buttocks that is worse when sitting, and difficulty moving the legs or feet. While your spine specialist can determine whether you are showing symptoms of sciatica, it is important to first educate yourself on the risk factors.
As we get older, the intervertebral discs that cushion our vertebral bones begin to deteriorate and grow thinner due to fluid-loss. This loss of fluid causes the discs to contract and often increases the risk of spinal stenosis, in which the spinal column narrows and puts pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Individuals whose occupation requires them to perform manual labor may be at an increased risk for sciatica. This includes individuals who are required to carry heavy items, twist and bend persistently, or sit for long periods of time—as all of these actions can irritate the sciatic nerve and lead to pain.
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of sciatica because it puts unnecessary pressure and strain on your spine, which includes your vertebral bones, ligaments, tendons, spinal discs, and nerves.
Many individuals do not realize that having diabetes increases their chances of sciatica. However, diabetes directly affects the way your body uses glucose or blood sugar, ultimately increasing the likelihood of nerve damage within the extremities and the spine.
Are you suffering from chronic neck or back pain? You can find out what is causing your pain by contacting the spine specialists with SpineOne at (888) 721-0459 today. To learn more about our medical services, be sure to visit our website.