This article is part of a series written by Dr. Kevin Pauza
Sciatica can be a debilitating condition, but it is usually secondary to other issues. If left untreated, whatever is causing sciatica can worsen, leading to complications that can become even more serious. This is why it’s important to have an understanding of what can cause sciatica, as this will better your understanding of how to best treat this condition.
Conditions That Can Lead to Sciatica
As mentioned, sciatica is a condition that is caused by another issue. There are many different ailments that can lead to sciatica, but the following are some of the most common potential causes.
- Lumbar Herniated Disc. This is the most common cause of sciatica. It usually occurs when the nucleus pulposus at the center of the disc leaks out through the annular tears that allow the disc to become herniated, irritating and inflaming surrounding spinal nerves, such as the sciatic nerve.
- Degenerative Disc Disease. There are many ways in which degenerative disc disease can lead to sciatica, but the most likely cause is due to annular tears that allow the spinal disc to become dehydrated and degenerated. Similar to how herniated discs can cause sciatica, when the nucleus pulposus leaks out of the disc, it can cause nerves to become irritated.
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis. This condition is caused by a narrowing of the spinal canal and usually happens in conjunction with spinal arthritis. In this case, physical pressure may be placed on the sciatic nerve, which causes symptoms.
- Isthmic Spondylolisthesis. When a small stress fracture allows one vertebral body to slip forward onto another, physical pressure may be put on nerves, leading to painful symptoms.
- Piriformis Syndrome. In someone suffering from piriformis syndrome, the sciatic nerve can become irritated as it runs under the piriformis muscle in the buttock.
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Located at the bottom of the spine, irritation of the sacroiliac joint can also irritate the L5 nerve, which can lead to painful sciatica symptoms.
There are other causes of sciatica such as pregnancy, tumor, or infection, but these are not very likely to be the cause of your sciatica. However, if you feel these types of pain apply to you, you should consult your doctor.
Common Treatment for Sciatica
If left untreated, whatever is causing sciatica may worsen. Nerve damage can even occur if a pinched nerve is left untreated for too long. More serious complications can arise as well such as bilateral sciatica, which can cause paralysis. The pain may be debilitating to the point where you cannot go to work or even get out of bed some days. Sciatic pain could stop you from traveling or driving. One can see the problems and causes of this indication are varied.
Over the years there have been many treatments for the pain associated with sciatica. Most patients get better in a few weeks through methods usually available at home, but if the pain is intense and does not go away within a few weeks, more drastic treatments may be necessary.
Non-surgical options include:
- Physical therapy to stretch and exercise the particular muscle and bone group as well as improve posture and remove pressure.
- Low-impact exercise such as short walks can reduce inflammation.
- Bed rest with a firm mattress may be able to provide support for your back and help you recover.
- Hot and cold packs alternating for 20 minutes maximum, this treatment may allow relief from pain.
- Medicine including pain medication.
The problem with these methods is that none are guaranteed to work, and if someone truly needs restorative or regenerative treatment, very few of these options offer anything restorative.
Enter the Discseel® Procedure
Fortunately, there are methods to prevent sciatica or the condition causing it to worsen, while providing a truly restorative and regenerative treatment. The Discseel® Procedure is one of the most promising biologic treatments available.
Once the spinal discs causing the sciatica is found, steps to reverse the damage can be made. During the Discseel® Procedure, fibrin biologic is applied in the torn spinal discs, sealing them from continued leaking and providing them with the ability to regrow tissue, healing the annular tears. This allows sciatica pain to be healed, by stopping further irritation of the nerve causing pain. The best part is that, regardless of where the procedure is performed, most patients are up and walking in 24 hours and your mobility will not be limited once you’ve fully healed.
If you’re ready to stop living with sciatica pain, apply for the Discseel® Procedure today and find out if you’re a candidate.
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