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What causes sciatica pain?

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Posted on Mon, 21 Nov 2016
Question: causes of sciatica
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Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi (58 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Sciatica causes

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for your question on the causes of Sciatica. Quite honestly, it's perhaps more basic than you'd imagined. First recall what the term means.

Sciatica is PAIN +/- SENSORY changes +/- WEAKNESS in a leg of usually numbness and/or tingling. These symptoms come about essentially due to some irritation of the sciatic nerve itself as it exits the spinal cord in the lower back. It can also occur if several of the lumbar or sacral nerve roots are compressed at the same time and not necessarily the sciatic nerve. Therefore, if you could imagine what is it that can cause IRRITATION of an exiting nerve root that can result in symptoms of PAIN, WEAKNESS, and NUMBNESS/TINGLING (referred to as paresthesias or dysesthesias) then, you will have a list of causes.

The most common general cause of such irritation would be anything that could COMPRESS the nerve root at it exiting site. Therefore, things that can compress the nerve would be mass lesions such as tumors, blood clots, or infectious abscesses. Other items that can cause compression include a narrowing of the spinal outlet holes through which the nerve passes from the cord into the leg. Things such as osteoarthritis and other causes of skeletal degeneration or calcium formation are some of the most common causes of sciatica.

Another reason the sciatic nerve could be compressed at the level of the spinal column could be a herniated or bulging disc. Fractures of the spinal vertebral processes after a fall or due to osteoporosis can also compress the nerve.

There is also the possibility that the nerve can be compressed outside the spinal cord exit point and be somewhat compressed along its course or route into the leg. An entity known as the PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME occurs when a narrow straplike muscle in the gluteal region comes across too tightly across the nerve causing it to suffer irritation...almost like a constant "falling asleep" except in the PIRIFORMIS syndrome there is generally quite a bit of discomfort and pain.

Pregnancy is also another common cause in women of sciatica which tends to relieve once the baby is born. Sometimes it can persist.

If I've adequately answered your questions could you do me a huge favor by CLOSING THE QUERY and being sure to include some fine words of feedback along with a 5 STAR rating if you feel my suggestions have helped? Again, many thanks for posing your questions and please let me know how things turn out.

Do not forget to contact me in the future at: www.bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi for additional questions, comments, or concerns having to do with this topic or others.

This query has utilized a total of 34 minutes of professional time in research, review, and synthesis for the purpose of formulating a return statement.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Dariush Saghafi (33 hours later)
i take it then that disc degeneration would not be the only cause of sciatica?
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Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi (5 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Many potential causes of sciatica

Detailed Answer:
Good morning and thank you for your return question.

You are correct to state that degenerative disc processes are but one possible cause of the condition known as sciatica as I've detailed above. It is probably one of the more common if not the MOST common cause in the general patient population.

But again, it is not the only cause.

Cheers!

If I've adequately answered your questions could you do me a huge favor by CLOSING THE QUERY and being sure to include some fine words of feedback along with a 5 STAR rating if you feel my suggestions have helped? Again, many thanks for posing your questions and please let me know how things turn out.

Do not forget to contact me in the future at: www.bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi for additional questions, comments, or concerns having to do with this topic or others.

This query has utilized a total of 38 minutes of professional time in research, review, and synthesis for the purpose of formulating a return statement.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Dariush Saghafi (4 hours later)
Would EMG's, electronic nerve studies, eliminate the causes of the symptoms you referred to in your 1st letter?
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Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi (10 hours later)
Brief Answer:
EMG reflects types of nerve dysfunction as well as LOCATION

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for your additional question.

An electrical study cannot tell us the exact cause of nerve dysfunction in any particular condition such as sciatica but what it can do is tell us if the nerve is in a state of DEMYELINATION vs. AXONAL LOSS and this can help eliminate some potential causes from others. The other thing that an electrical study is very good at doing is localizing where the origin of the problem with the nerve is...in other words, spinal cord, spinal nerves, or at the neuromuscular junction. If none of those locations are found to have problems then, the inciting issue is likely in the brain unless it is metabolic.

That is a brief summary of how an electrical study is utilized in diagnosing neurological issues.

If I've adequately answered your questions could you do me a huge favor by CLOSING THE QUERY and being sure to include some fine words of feedback along with a 5 STAR rating if you feel my suggestions have helped? Again, many thanks for posing your questions and please let me know how things turn out.

Do not forget to contact me in the future at: www.bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi for additional questions, comments, or concerns having to do with this topic or others.

This query has utilized a total of 50 minutes of professional time in research, review, and synthesis for the purpose of formulating a return statement.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Dariush Saghafi

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Practicing since :1988

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What causes sciatica pain?

Brief Answer: Sciatica causes Detailed Answer: Thank you for your question on the causes of Sciatica. Quite honestly, it's perhaps more basic than you'd imagined. First recall what the term means. Sciatica is PAIN +/- SENSORY changes +/- WEAKNESS in a leg of usually numbness and/or tingling. These symptoms come about essentially due to some irritation of the sciatic nerve itself as it exits the spinal cord in the lower back. It can also occur if several of the lumbar or sacral nerve roots are compressed at the same time and not necessarily the sciatic nerve. Therefore, if you could imagine what is it that can cause IRRITATION of an exiting nerve root that can result in symptoms of PAIN, WEAKNESS, and NUMBNESS/TINGLING (referred to as paresthesias or dysesthesias) then, you will have a list of causes. The most common general cause of such irritation would be anything that could COMPRESS the nerve root at it exiting site. Therefore, things that can compress the nerve would be mass lesions such as tumors, blood clots, or infectious abscesses. Other items that can cause compression include a narrowing of the spinal outlet holes through which the nerve passes from the cord into the leg. Things such as osteoarthritis and other causes of skeletal degeneration or calcium formation are some of the most common causes of sciatica. Another reason the sciatic nerve could be compressed at the level of the spinal column could be a herniated or bulging disc. Fractures of the spinal vertebral processes after a fall or due to osteoporosis can also compress the nerve. There is also the possibility that the nerve can be compressed outside the spinal cord exit point and be somewhat compressed along its course or route into the leg. An entity known as the PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME occurs when a narrow straplike muscle in the gluteal region comes across too tightly across the nerve causing it to suffer irritation...almost like a constant "falling asleep" except in the PIRIFORMIS syndrome there is generally quite a bit of discomfort and pain. Pregnancy is also another common cause in women of sciatica which tends to relieve once the baby is born. Sometimes it can persist. If I've adequately answered your questions could you do me a huge favor by CLOSING THE QUERY and being sure to include some fine words of feedback along with a 5 STAR rating if you feel my suggestions have helped? Again, many thanks for posing your questions and please let me know how things turn out. Do not forget to contact me in the future at: www.bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi for additional questions, comments, or concerns having to do with this topic or others. This query has utilized a total of 34 minutes of professional time in research, review, and synthesis for the purpose of formulating a return statement.