What is Sciatica

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Sciatica is not a specific disease, instead it is a condition characteristic of several different diseases. Simply put, it is a mild to intense pain in the left or right leg. Sciatica is caused by a compression of one or more of the five sets of nerve roots in the lower back. These compressions are typically caused by a disc rupture or bone spur in the lumbar spine. It causes pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the arms or legs. This is referred to as radiculopathy. If the nerve root causing the problem is in the neck it is called cervical radiculopathy. Sciatica is called a lumbar radiculopathy since it occurs in the lower back.

There are six typical causes of Sciatica.

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is usually found at birth, early childhood or acquired from physical trauma such as weightlifting. It is a disorder that most often affects the lumbar spine. Spondylolisthesis is characterized by one vertebra slipping forward over an adjacent vertebra. Often sciatic leg pain is caused when a nerve root compresses due to the vertebra being displaced and slipping.

Piriformis Syndrome

Due to the lack of MRI or x-ray findings, it may...

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