Munson Health
 
Sciatica

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by Smoots E
 

Causes

Sciatica is caused by irritation or pressure on the sciatic nerve. This can be the result of:
  • Herniated disk—the cushions between the bones of your spine bulge and press on the nerve as it exits the spinal column
  • Arthritis in the lower back
  • Spinal stenosis—narrowing of the spinal canal in the lumbar area
  • Spondylolisthesis—slippage of a bone in the lower back
  • Cauda equina syndrome—nerve roots at the base of the spinal cord are compressed
  • Piriformis syndrome— spasm of piriformis muscle
 

Risk Factors

Sciatica is more common in men. Other factors that may increase your risk of sciatica include:
Lifestyle and personal health factors, such as:
Occupational factors, such as:
  • Heavy manual labor
  • Heavy lifting
  • Exposure to vibrations
  • A job that requires standing for long periods of time and forward bending
Health conditions, such as:
  • Fractures in the back
  • Tumors
  • Infections
  • Metabolic problems, such as diabetes
 

RESOURCES

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
http://www.orthoinfo.org

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
http://www.ninds.nih.gov

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Association of General Surgeons
http://www.cags-accg.ca

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

 

References


Allen C, Glasziou P, Del Mar C. Bed rest: a potentially harmful treatment needing more careful evaluation. Lancet. 1999; 354:1229-1233.


Sciatica. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00351. Updated October 2007. Accessed November 26, 2013.


Sciatica. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated November 22, 2013. Accessed November 26, 2013.


Sciatica. Postgrad Med. 1997;102.


Waddell G, Feder G, Lewis M. Systematic reviews of bed rest and advice to stay active for acute low back pain. Br J Gen Pract. 1997;47:647-652.


6/7/2007 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Peul WC, van Houwelingen HC, van den Hout WB, et al. Surgery versus prolonged conservative treatment for sciatica. N Engl J Med. 2007;356:2245-2256.

 

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