Sciatica is a condition that causes pain and numbness in the leg. The sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the feet, can become irritated and inflamed due to pressure. It leads to symptoms of pain and tingling down one or both legs. Sciatica is not a disease but an umbrella term used for irritation or inflammation of this vital nerve pathway. In West Orange, NJ, you’ll find reliable sciatica experts willing to offer the help you need. As you look for the best pain management physician of West Orange, here are some common causes of sciatica you should know about.
- Facet Joint Arthritis
The facet joints are miniature shock absorbers located between the vertebrae in your spinal column. They can become irritated due to various causes – from a traumatic injury, such as a heavy fall or car accident, to more subtle degeneration caused by age. The pain is usually felt in the lower back and can travel down the leg if both sciatic nerve roots are irritated by pressure from the facet joints.
- Herniated Disc
It may cause a small piece of the fibrous outer layer to bulge or rupture, causing pressure on the already inflamed nerve. A herniated disc can occur anywhere in the spinal column, but 80% are between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae, which are in your lower back.
- Degenerative Disc Disease
Much like a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease is caused by age and wear and tear on the spine. It causes discs to gradually lose their firmness and ability to cushion vertebrae as they rub together. The result is often lower back pain that radiates into the leg and down the sciatic nerve.
It would be best if you had an expert who understands how sciatica works and knows what treatments will help relieve your symptoms, without making them worse. A pain management specialist has experience treating patients with all types of chronic pains and injuries, including those caused by sciatica. They’ll provide personalized treatment plans tailored just for you so that you can get back on track as quickly as possible.
- Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is another common cause of sciatica, where mild to severe compression occurs on the nerve. If you are experiencing quick sharp pain from the lower back to feet, you must seek professional advice from a doctor. Sciatica is usually not a severe condition and can be treated with rest, medication, and exercise; but there are cases where surgical intervention is required to prevent further damage.
- Bone Spurs
The ruptured area can press against the surrounding nerves when a herniated disc occurs. Bone spurs form here as tissue attempts to repair itself, but they can act like knives cutting into your sciatic nerve.
There is no harm in trying an over-the-counter medication if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms as a result of sciatica. However, if you don’t see improvement, the best course of action is to visit your doctor for a diagnosis and proper treatment plan.
Suppose you’ve been experiencing pain in your back, leg, or foot and are unsure that it may be due to sciatica. Sciatica is an umbrella term for any irritation or inflammation that affects the nerve pathway running from the lower spine to the feet. There can be many causes of this condition, including facet joint arthritis, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, bone spurs, and spinal stenosis.