Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘herniated disc’

A Pain In The . . .

Posted by terrepruitt on June 20, 2018

I was recently reading an article that stated 31 million Americans suffer from some form of lower back pain at any given time. It is the leading cause of people missing work and the second leading reason for people going to the doctor. It also stated that 80% of Americans will experience back pain at one time in their life. Since I didn’t know the age of the article I wanted to see if there were other statistics that might be more current . . . .or different, but my Google search revealed the American Chiropractic Association website with the same information on it as was in the article I read. I know that a lot of my students claim to have lower back pain. Some of them have gone to various professionals to get a diagnosis, some have not. The thing about back pain is that it can be the result of many different things. Some of my students that have lower back pain also say they experience sciatica. Sciatica, like lower back pain can be from different things.

Sciatica is a pain that travels down the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve goes from the lower back through the hips and buttocks and runs down each leg. Sciatic pain can be felt anywhere along this path all the way to the foot. Usually the pain is only felt on one side of the body.

I was doing a quick search regarding piriformis syndrome when I came upon an interesting, very informative website. It explains that sciatica can be caused by several different things. It lists six most common causes of Sciatica.

-Lumbar herniated disc.
-Degenerative disc disease, where the degeneration is so severe that inflammatory proteins irritate the nerve in that area.
-Isthmic spondylolisthesis, when a vertebrae has slipped out of position due to a small fracture in the spine.
-Lumbar spinal stenosis, where the spinal canal narrows and compresses nerves.
-Piriformis syndrome, when the piriformis disturbs the sciatic nerve by irritating it or pinching it.
-Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, when this joint gets irritated it might affect the L5 nerve which might cause sciatica-type pain.

This is just a very brief summary of the information. I am hoping you will check out the website yourself to get more details. Each cause has a very short video explaining the issue. I find it very interesting because it is saying the last two causes of sciatica, piriformis syndrome and sacroiliac joint dysfunction are not truly sciatica, but they can cause the same type of pain.

The Mayo Clinic’s website has a few suggestions as to how to help prevent sciatica:

Exercise regularly.
Maintain proper posture when you sit.
Use good body mechanics.

Of course this post isn’t meant to diagnose anyone or anything, but it might help you when you go to your doctor.  Sometimes it is nice to have information so that you can take part in your diagnosis and treatment.

Have you ever had lower back pain?  Have you ever experienced sciatica type pain?

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