We have been seeing a lot more sciatica in the practice lately. I guess there could be many reasons for that.
- We have had some late season snow (the wet and heavy kind) and shoveling has been a hassle
- It is the end of winter and patient’s have been sedentary for a few months and have been getting weak, or
- People are just doing things they shouldn’t be doing.
Everyone always ask me, “How did this happen to me?” The answer is not that easy because there are so many reasons you can get Sciatica. So I try to break it down:
Sicatica is caused when the sciatic nerve is being pinched. The pinch could come from a lot of structures or reasons, but I will list the most common.
a) A herniated disc at L4, L5 or S1. That means the jelly from inside the disc is coming out and putting pressure directly on the sciatic nerve. The nerve gets compressed and causes sciatica.
b) Muscle spasm, most commonly at the Piriformis muscle. What happens is that sometimes the sciatic nerve pierces right through the Piriformis muscle and when the muscle gets tight it squeezes the sciatic nerve in between it causing sciatic pain.
c) Arthritis! That’s right, that good old Arthur-itis as my family calls it. When the body develops arthritic spurs, these are little pieces of bone growth outside the normal bone. These bone growths can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve at the levels of L4, L5 and S1 also.
d) Pregnancy is the lasty most common cause. When the fetus starts to grow and the uterus expands it begins to move organs out f the way to make room. Organs like the stomach and diaphragm move up (this causes the indigestion and acid reflux) and others move down, which can also push and compress the sciatic nerve causing sciatic pain.
Again, there so many other causes of Sciatica, but these are the most common I see at The Spine adn Health Center of Montvale.
Once we have diagnosed the exact cause of the sciatica we can then develop the correct treatment plan to rehabilitate. The problem I see out there is that the cause of the sciatica is not properly diagnosed, it is then not treated properly and patients will either not see any improvment with their pain and discomfort or the relief will be short lived and the pain will come back over and over again. At the Spine and Health Center of Montvale, we identify the exact cause and administer the proper treatment and that is why we ge tgood results.
I hope this answered a lot of questions about Sciatica and the causes. I am always available for any questions you may have. Just email me from the website if you’d like or call and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you are local, pop on in to one of the offices and say hi!