Sciatic Pain Causes – Herniated Discs
Sciatica Pain Caused by Herniated Discs
Most people are affected by back pain and other radiculopathy issues in the lower body. Health experts largely believe sciatic pain to among the major causes. Sciatica results from discs which herniate. In the simplest terms, sciatic pain is defined as nerve pain or other related symptoms which source out from the spine, but also affect an individual’s legs, buttock and feet. Herniation and degeneration of discs are common issues which prevail in the lumbar spinal region, and therefore it is only natural that a patient experiencing sciatic pain will also be suffering from disc problems, which can also be held responsible for pain in the first place. However, statistical research has shown only a minor relationship between back pain and intervertebral disc problems.
Natural degeneration of the spine, or any injury caused to it can lead to disc herniation. Biologically, two areas in human body commonly suffer from herniation, and these are the lower lumbar intervertebral and lower cervical levels. For those looking for a little bit of research, here is some interesting information. Herniated discs at L5/S1 and L4/L5 largely take the blame for causing sciatic pain. Although it can be safely said sciatica may be a result of a ruptured or bulging disc, it is also true that herniation is almost always coincidentally related to any type of pain experienced by an individual. In addition to disc problems, these also include numbness, weakness or tingling in a patient’s back, legs, buttocks and even in the feet. Clinical studies hold proof of this behavior. Nevertheless, it is still believed that even the slightest herniation plays an important role in causing sciatic pain in individuals.
It would be wrong to say that herniated discs themselves are painful. The fact is, any traumatic injury which affects or influences the pain in your back will certainly cause additional pain, and the same happens when you experience a fresh disc injury. However, this pain does not last long, and unless no other spinal structures have been influenced by the injury, the pain typically fades in a few weeks. Some potential mechanisms which can be blamed for chronic pain occurring in patients suffering from herniated discs:
- Spinal stenosis – This is a potentially harmful condition, and can result to the reduction or completely cutting off of the spinal cords nerve supply. Though this is usually diagnosed with disc herniation, the actual condition typically results due to the accumulation of arthritic osteophyte in the spinal canal.
- Foraminal stenosis – This is medically referred to pinched nerve. Bulging of the disc causes it to occupy the space from where roots of the spinal nerve leave the column. A patient may experience pain for a short time period, but the condition enacts objective weakness and numbness to some muscular tissues in the long run. However, this is a relatively rare condition, and in majority of these cases, only a slight resemblance has been observed between the expected and experienced symptoms.
- Chemical radiculitis – This condition is known to prevail in patients suffering from sensitive neurological tissues. This is usually caused by the spilling of nucleus proteins on the neighboring nerve tissues, and the cause is a ruptured disc. Interestingly, while this protein may act as an irritant in some patients, others may not feel so. The condition in itself is highly controversial, and the theory suggested may not be true for all cases. In situations where the diagnosis is found true, it does not always imply that it is the cause of sciatic pain. Nevertheless, the condition does provide an explanation for localized back pain.
- Discogenic pain – This type of pain is not attributed to one particular diagnosis, but there are a few variations. For example, endplates have small nerves, and in the event of these getting mechanically affected, discogenic pain occurs. Additionally, when the nerves come in contact with the irritating pain, it also leads to pain. There are a few other instances, such as when growth of the endplate nerves into the disc. However, given the fact that these nerves are considerably smaller and are not known to possess sensory properties, the discogenic pain theory is also controversial. Moreover, this does not even explain sciatic pain because the nerves only localize.
Similar to most issues in nerve pain, sciatic pain is rarely traced back to its original concern. Some health experts are also of the opinion that larger part of patients who experience lower body radiculopathy are suffering from regional oxygen deprivation syndrome and not from any spinal causation. The previously mentioned syndrome, however, is one of the causes behind sciatic pain. Not only does this theory entirely explain why this pain is resistant to treatment, but also the typical symptoms of the conditions which cannot be explained from any other medical diagnosis.
Disc herniation explained
Getting Rid of Sciatic Pain As a Result of Disc Herniation
There are, in fact, quite a number of ways by which a patient suffering from sciatic pain may feel better. These largely include using anti-inflammatory drugs and other medications, massage, gentle exercises, craniosacral therapy, acupuncture and yoga.
However, if you do not experience any improvements in your condition even after trying other treatment methods for a prolonged time, your health expert may recommend a surgical procedure. Nevertheless, this can be understood as a last resort, since this is only advised in situations where all else has failed to work in relieving the pain.
It is important to understand that a sufferer must never diagnose sciatic pain on his own. The symptoms may be similar to other conditions, and self-determining sciatica may result in the usage of wrong medications, which may further deteriorate your health. Always consult a medical expert when in doubt so that proper treatment can be administered at the right time.
Additionally, here are a few treatment methods to follow if your doctor has determined you are suffering from sciatic pain.
- Fill a bottle with warm water and apply it to the affected area. Cold compresses are also known to work effectively in alleviating the pain. Nevertheless, ask your doctor for recommendations on what will work in your case.
- Sleeping in a position where your feet are raised also helps to ease the pain.
- If your doctor suggests exercises as a method of treatment, you will want to begin with swimming. This activity, as is known, is an excellent all round exercise.
- Refrain from sitting in one position or standing for a prolonged time period. If your job requires you sit for a long time in one position, get up for occasional breaks and walk some distance. Similarly, if you are required to stand for an extended time period, try sitting down after every few minutes.
- Some doctors recommend gentle exercises for stretching, and you may even carry out those while you are standing. Do not go for the strenuous ones, the gentle ones will be sufficiently helpful.
- A large number of patients suffering from sciatic pain have found supportive mattress pads to be helpful. These consist of memory foam which can effectively minimize the pressure on affected areas of your body.
Top Exercises For Sciatica Pain Caused by Herniated Discs
Although sciatic pain can be painful, you do not have to always live with it. There are a variety of treatment options and numerous medications which can help ease the pain and encourage you to live life normally.
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