What causes sciatic nerve pain?

What Causes Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Sciatic nerve pain, also known as sciatica, can have a number of individual causes and occurs due to compression or irritation of the long and wide sciatic nerve. This nerve, the longest in the human body, originates in the lower spine and branches off to travel down into the lower body down both legs. 

Common symptoms include leg pain as well as shooting pains into the hips and buttocks and tingling and numbness throughout the lower extremities, including the toes. Because it is so often related to lower back conditions, it is also commonly associated with lower back pain.  Sciatic nerve pain can be extremely painful and debilitating, disrupting nearly every aspect of daily life. Fortunately, there are a wide range of treatment options available, including physical therapy. 

To help you better understand this condition and the potential treatment options available, we’re providing the following guide. If you have any questions or want to learn more about the treatment options we can offer, feel free to reach out to a member of our caring and dedicated team today.  

Major causes of sciatic nerve pain 

Since the sciatic nerve runs through so much of the lower body, there are a number of places where compression can occur. When pressure is placed on this nerve, it can disrupt its normal sensory and motor functions, causing pain and mobility issues. 

Here are a few of the more common underlying causes of sciatic nerve pain:

  • Lower spine conditions — A number of spine conditions, including herniated discs and bone spurs, can cause displaced anatomy that compresses the sciatic nerve at its origin point. 
  • Piriformis syndrome — The piriformis is a small muscle located in the middle of the buttocks that can commonly become strained during strenuous exercise, such as running. A strained piriformis can compress the sciatic nerve as it runs through the buttocks, causing pain and disrupted functioning. 
  • Pregnancy — Due to the anatomical changes and extra weight placed on the body by pregnancy, pregnant women very often experience sciatic nerve pain. 

By working with a physical therapist, patients can take steps to strengthen supporting muscles, improve posture and learn proper movements that take pressure off of the sciatic nerve and relieve symptoms. 

Sciatic nerve pain relief at Continuum Wellness 

When patients come to our state-of-the-art clinic in Apache Junction, Arizona, for sciatica treatment, they can expect patient-centered care and a compassionate individualized approach. One of our expert clinicians will work with you to determine the underlying causes of your sciatic nerve pain and develop a plan that is right for your needs and lifestyle. 

If sciatica is keeping you away from the quality of life that you deserve, don’t wait another day to find relief. Contact our caring and dedicated team today to make your initial appointment.