Causes of Sciatica

Pain that travels down the back of the leg is called sciatica whether or not it is associated with pain in the lower back. Sciatica can travel all the way to the foot or toes. On the other hand sciatica may be caused by referred pain and travel in the opposite direction from the foot upwards. In some instances of sciatica trigger points in the muscles of the lower back may be able to reproduce sciatica. If these trigger points in the muscles are pressed on the pain may travel down the leg.
Herniation of the discs of the lower back are credited with causing most cases of sciatica but they do not account for all cases of sciatica. It has been estimated that up to a third of lower back pain sufferers treated by Chiropractors have some degree of herniation of the disc. The most common orthopedic test used by Chiropractors to diagnose a herniated lumbar disc is the straight leg raising test. In this test a person lies on the back and has one leg raised (with the leg straight). Pain that is produced with the leg at 30 degrees or less of elevation is suggestive of a disc herniation. MRI is the most valuable diagnostic imaging procedure that can detect a disc herniation.
Sciatica has a variety of causes some of which do not actually effect the sciatic nerve or its nerve roots. Some such causes include sprain or strain of the joints of the lower back and hips. Other such conditions that may cause sciatica include spinal infection, kidney involvement, vascular conditions and metabolic disorders.

About drtom

I help people through chiropractic care and acupuncture.
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