Sciatic nerve pain occurs because of pressure on the sciatic nerve in your lower back. This pressure could be from many different causes. Some of the things that commonly cause a majority of cases of sciatica are explained below:


Bulging or Herniated Discs– Small discs exist between the vertebrae in the spine to help move and absorb pressure. If the alignment of the spine is not proper it exerts pressure on the discs. This misalignment can be caused by being overweight or simply by not maintaining good posture.
Uneven stress on the disc causes it to bulge outward. The disc may in turn press against the sciatic nerve resulting in sciatica pain. The treatment would aim at reducing any pressure on the nerve by correcting spinal alignment. For this you may need to correct any muscular imbalances and rectify your body posture as well.


Spinal stenosis – Pressure on the sciatic nerve due to narrowing of the spinal canal can also cause sciatica. Narrowing of the spinal canal can occur due to aging, as the body’s ligaments thicken with age. The bones and spinal canal may also develop small growths causing narrowing of the spinal canal. There are instances when the flat surfaces on the spinal cord vertebra thicken causing narrowing.


Heredity – In case the spinal canal happens to be very small at the time of birth, the symptoms of stenosis could also be seen in a young person. Narrowing of the spinal canal may cause structural deformities of the affected vertebrae.


Trauma – If you have had a fall or a car accident, pieces of broken bones may protrude into the spinal canal and irritate the sciatic nerve.


Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis makes bones brittle, and as a result, vertebrae could fracture and may come in contact with spinal nerves or the spinal cord.


Fluorosis – Excessive fluoride levels in the body could lead to softening of bones and cause a degenerative condition similar to spinal stenosis. If you are sure you have spinal stenosis, you should make an effort to maintain good posture. Recognizing and addressing muscle imbalances is very important.


Piriformis syndrome – The upper leg is connected to pelvis by piriformis, a muscle in the hip. Overuse or poor posturing habits, like sitting at desk all day, this makes muscles becomes very rigid. It may contract or even crush the sciatic nerve, running under the piriformis. This can be taken care of by doing stretching exercises to loosen your muscles and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.


Food allergy – Some foods such as fast food, red meat, and cakes cause inflammation, and may cause sciatica pain as well. These foods are high in saturated fats. Some foods with a lot of fatty acids and antioxidants like berries, salmon, and fruits can be eaten to relieve back pain and decrease inflammation.


Isthmic Spondylolysis – Sciatica pain could be due to Isthmic Spondylolysis, but is relatively uncommon. Spondylolysis occurs when a vertebra slips and puts pressure on the adjacent vertebra. If this vertebra moves, the nerves in the spinal canal could get affected. It causes pain, weakness in legs, and numbness. Spondololysisis is very common and normally occurs between the fourth and fifth vertebrae of the spine.


Inflammation – Inflammation is a natural response of the body, preventing injury or reaction to toxins. If you have sciatica, you are likely to feel inflammation in the concerned area. You should be aware that inflammation can be felt even without injury.

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