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3 Factors That Put You at a Greater Risk For Developing Sciatica

back pain, developing sciatica,

Sciatica is characterized by pain that travels from your lower back down to your hips, buttocks, and legs. Someone experiencing sciatic pain will usually have pain that goes down one side of their body, and it may feel anywhere from mild to excruciating.

Sciatic pain can happen at any time, and it can be treated without surgery in most cases. While aging is a common risk factor for sciatica, there are several other factors that contribute to sciatic pain, many of which are linked.

As experts in back pain and chiropractic care, we at Integrated Medical Solutions of Knoxville are here to share the three factors that put you at a greater risk for sciatic pain.

1. Herniated or slipped disc

A herniated disc, also known as a slipped disc or pinched nerve, is perhaps the most common cause of sciatica. A disc works as cushioning between the spinal bones, and sometimes it can slip and end up applying pressure on the sciatic nerve.

The main causes of a herniated disc are:

Some of these factors are related, such as a sedentary lifestyle and weight gain. If a person doesn’t get enough exercise, they’re likely to gain weight. Over time, spinal muscles and discs will weaken, increasing the risk of developing sciatica.

A person’s job or career can also lead to a herniated disc. Heavy lifting without proper technique can cause a herniated disc, and people who work at a computer or drive a lot often experience sciatic pain as well.

In most cases, a slipped disc can be treated with physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and rest.

2. Diabetes

The risk for developing sciatica is high for people with diabetes. Diabetes affects how your body processes sugar, and over time, high levels of blood sugar put the body at risk for nerve damage. This includes the sciatic nerve, which runs through the hip and upper leg.

If you have diabetes and are experiencing pain in your low back or legs, see your doctor to determine if the cause is sciatica.

3. Piriformis syndrome

Piriformis syndrome occurs when the piriformis muscle becomes inflamed or injured.

The piriformis is a small muscle located in the buttocks, and it assists the hips with rotation and maintaining stability when running or walking. It also supports the bones in the hips and buttocks.

People who frequently go on runs or walks can irritate the piriformis if they don’t warm up properly. This may lead to muscle spasms and swelling that can aggravate the sciatic nerve, as it’s located under the piriformis muscle.

Piriformis syndrome is also common in people who sit for extended periods of time.

Is it sciatica or normal back pain?

Sciatica is often overlooked as normal back pain, but there are symptoms that differentiate sciatic pain from regular back pain.

Symptoms of sciatica include:

The biggest indicator of sciatic pain is that it only occurs on one side of your body. You might experience pain that starts in your back and works its way down to your leg. In some cases, sciatic pain can radiate down to your feet and toes.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to detect the source of your back pain. While sciatica is easier to self-diagnose, it’s best to get a second opinion from a medical professional.

Our team at Integrated Medical Solutions of Knoxville are specialists in treating back pain. We work to carefully identify your symptoms and ensure that you receive the right treatment plan.

Relieve your sciatic pain today by scheduling an appointment with us online or by phone.

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