sciatica nerve

6 Top Causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain

If you are suffering from sciatic nerve pain, you have a lot of company. It is estimated that 40 percent of the population is affected by this condition at some point in their lives. This troubling disorder has many potential causes. Fortunately, at Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine we have many effective nonsurgical treatments for sciatic nerve pain. Contact us today to learn about our broad and varied therapies, both traditional and complementary. In the meantime, reading this blog can help you understand the possible reasons for your discomfort.

Where Exactly Is the Sciatic Nerve?

The sciatic nerve goes down the spine, and then branches from your buttocks to each thigh and calf. The pain of sciatica, stemming from the compression of the nerve somewhere along its path, can be a mild ache or an excruciating, sharp, or burning pain. It may sometimes feel like an electrical jolt and can be accompanied by, or alternate with, numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness.

Causes of Nerve Compressions That Result in Sciatic Nerve Pain

As noted, there are various reasons for sciatic nerve compression, including

  1. Congenital structural spinal defects that make the nerve more vulnerable to impact
  2. Bone spurs, growths of extra bone tissue that may impinge on the nerve
  3. Herniated disc between the bones of the spinal column that, once it slips out of position, often puts pressure on an adjacent branch of the sciatic nerve
  4. Spinal stenosis during which the spinal column narrows (due to aging) to the point that spinal bones may press on nerve roots
  5. Spondylolisthesis, a disorder in which one vertebra slips forward over another and impinges on the sciatic nerve
  6. Piriformis syndrome, when the large muscle of the buttocks presses on the sciatic nerve

The sciatic nerve can also be irritated by localized inflammatory conditions resulting from injury or illness, such as a pelvic fracture or a tumor in the region.

Risk Factors for Sciatic Nerve Pain

As with most medical conditions, some people are at greater risk of developing the problem than others. Although sciatic nerve pain can arise later in life, the problem tends to occur in men between 30 and 50. Other risk factors for sciatic nerve pain include:

  • Osteoarthritis due to aging
  • Occupations involving heavy lifting (e.g. construction workers, nurses) or sitting for prolonged periods (e.g. office workers, executives, truck drivers)
  • Unhealthy lifestyle (e.g. obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol use, lack of exercise, poor posture)
  • Pregnancy due to weight gain and relocation of the mother’s center of gravity 

Because patients with diabetes commonly suffer from peripheral neuropathy, a condition that has similar symptoms to sciatic nerve pain, diabetes is sometimes mistakenly regarded as a risk factor.

Contact Us Now: We Know How to Treat Sciatic Nerve Pain Nonsurgically

At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, we use several proven holistic therapies to treat patients with sciatic nerve pain. Contact us for a comprehensive exam, an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your sciatic nerve pain, and a carefully thought-out choice of minimally invasive treatments selected to meet your unique healthcare needs.