5 Leading Causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain

by | Jan 1, 2019 | Health Care

There are multiple causes of sciatic nerve pain, with over three million cases reported each year. Most sciatica symptoms are caused by some common (and some not so common) conditions. Sciatic nerve pain can range from uncomfortable to debilitating.

What conditions can cause sciatic nerve pain?

1.Herniated and bulging discs

Herniated and bulging intervertebral discs can lead to compression of nerves within the spinal canal. These discs also contain an acidic chemical that acts as an inflammatory substance. Both compression and irritation can cause sciatic nerve pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and other sensory symptoms.

Herniated or bulging discs are often caused by degenerative disc diseases and sometimes by trauma to the spine.

2.Trauma to the spine

Car accidents, contact sports injuries, whiplash injuries, and falls can all cause moderate to severe trauma to the spine. Depending on the type of resulting injury, sciatic nerve pain can become a chronic symptom. Patients who have been in accidents where their lower back or neck were impacted are more likely to experience sciatic nerve pain.

This trauma can be treated effectively in many ways, including via chiropractic care.

3.Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition most often caused by the normal wear and tear of aging. However, some individuals are born with spine defects or naturally narrow spinal canals, while others develop scoliosis or bone tumors. All these conditions can lead to spinal stenosis and be a direct cause of sciatic nerve pain.

Spinal stenosis can also lead to pain in the neck and back, tingling in the arms, legs, feet, and hands, and in severe cases, bladder, and bowel control issues.

4.Spinal tumors

Spinal tumors may have many causes, from genetic disorders to cancerous growths. Luckily, most spinal tumors are benign, but may still be symptomatic. This includes pain and discomfort, as well as compression of nerves within the spinal canal, which again often leads to severe sciatic nerve pain symptoms.

Other symptoms of spinal tumors include back pain, painful walking, loss of bowel or bladder control, and pain at the site of growth.


This is another fairly common condition, especially amongst athletes or those who regularly engage in sports activities. Spondylolisthesis can cause sciatic nerve pain because it involves an intervertebral disc in the lower back slipping onto the bone beneath it. When this disc slips, it can put pressure on nerves and cause back and leg pain.

Chiropractic care and sciatic nerve pain

These are some of the leading causes of sciatic nerve pain, but individuals develop these symptoms for many reasons and often seek treatment through chiropractic care.

Sciatic nerve pain is a common condition that chiropractors examine and treat regularly. Rehabilitative exercises that work the muscles and nerves affected by sciatica and its various causes are often extremely helpful. Deep tissue massage, electric nerve stimulation, and other gentle methods can assist in improving or ridding a patient of these symptoms.

For those suffering from sciatic nerve pain symptoms in the Waterford, Michigan area, there are non-invasive, effective treatments available through these therapeutic chiropractic methods.

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