The sciatic nerve is the longest in the human body. Located at the base of the spine, it stretches through the buttocks, hips, and down the back of each leg. Sciatica is a painful condition that develops when the sciatic nerve is injured or becomes compressed, resulting in inflammation, numbness, and pain. Depending on the severity, sciatica pain can be debilitating and interfere with your quality of life.
If you’re living with sciatica pain and discomfort, we can help. At Complete Wellness, our team offers several therapeutic solutions for back pain and musculoskeletal conditions from our office in Calhoun, Georgia.
Common factors that can increase your risk of developing sciatica
Sciatica is one of the most common causes of pain and affects at least 40% of Americans. If you already suffer from lower back pain, you may also be more susceptible to developing sciatica as well. Like many spine and back-related problems, sciatica can result from one or a combination of physical, lifestyle, and secondary health problems.
Here are three of the most common factors that can increase your risk of developing sciatica:
1. Lumbar spinal stenosis
The risk of developing sciatica and degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis also increases with age. Wear-and-tear on the joints and soft tissue can make them weaker and more prone to injuries. Spinal stenosis causes the space around the lower (lumbar) spine to narrow, which can cause compression on the sciatic nerve and trigger a sciatica flareup.
Other spine problems like spondylolisthesis and herniated disc can also put pressure on and cause inflammation of the sciatic nerve.
2. Lifestyle factors that can increase your sciatica risk
Obesity or being severely overweight can lead to several health problems, including back problems and sciatica pain. We offer medical weight loss programs designed to meet your specific health needs and weight loss goals.
Smoking can also increase your risk of sciatica. The vertebrae (small bones) in the spine are cushioned by fluid-filled sacs (discs). Smoking can cause the discs to dry out and become brittle, increasing the risk of a rupture or herniation (slipped disc), which can compress or injure the sciatic nerve.
3. Underlying/secondary health conditions may increase the risk of sciatica
People with diabetes are also prone to nerve damage, especially in the legs and feet (peripheral neuropathy). Therefore diabetics may also be more susceptible to sciatica pain as well.
We can get you back on your feet and feeling better
If you’re experiencing acute or chronic sciatica or back pain, we can help. Contact us today by calling 706-602-2554 to schedule an appointment at our office in Calhoun, Georgia, or you can use our convenient booking tool to request an appointment online.