What is sciatica?
The sciatic nerve extends from the lower back and runs down each leg. Patients who suffer from sciatica experience varying levels of pain, inflammation, and numbness in the sciatic nerve, typically in just one side of the body. For some, the pain is severe and debilitating; for others, it’s infrequent and merely irritating.
The most common cause of sciatica is compression of the sciatic nerve due to a herniated disk, bone spur, or narrowing of the spine. Less-severe cases of sciatica can often resolve with non-operative treatments in only a few weeks, although patients with severe sciatica may be strong candidates for surgery.
Source: Mayo Clinic
What causes sciatica?
While sciatica is a medical condition in and of itself, it’s also a symptom of several other medical conditions. Problems with the spine and lower back can result in pinching or pressing of the sciatic nerve, causing sciatica. An estimated 90 percent of sciatica cases are due to a herniated disk, which occurs when one of the spine’s cartilage disks slips out of place.
While a number of conditions can cause sciatica, the primary risk factors include age, profession, and a sedentary lifestyle. Patients in their 30s or 40s, those who work jobs that require heavy lifting, or those that are physically inactive are at the highest risk of developing a spine or back condition that can lead to sciatica.
The most common causes of sciatica include:
- Herniated disc
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Tumors in the spine
Meet with the best sciatica physical therapists
Luna’s physical therapists are experts in the treatment of sciatica. Our licensed PTs can help patients mitigate their sciatica symptoms with treatment programs that include guided stretches, manual treatment, and pain relief techniques.
With Luna, patients can get sciatica treatment right from the comfort of their homes. It’s physical therapy, delivered.