Understanding Sciatica: Causes & Symptom Overview
Lower back pain is a common symptoms frequently reported among a majority of the population in the United States. While low back pain generally resolves on its own, constant discomfort could signal the presence of a more serious injury or condition. A variety of factors can lead to spinal damage or injury, manifesting as low back pain, however, when the pain and discomfort includes tingling sensations, numbness and even burning sensations along the lower extremities, damage or injury to the sciatic nerve may have occurred.
Over-exercising, lifting, bending, or twisting abruptly into awkward positions, and even driving for extended periods of time, can strain the sciatic nerve, leading to lower back pain which radiates into the back of the legs as well as other numerous symptoms, known as sciatica.
Approximately 5 to 10 percent of individuals experience some form of low back pain from sciatic nerve pain. Most commonly seen in people ranging from 18 to 35 years of age, the prevalence of sciatic symptoms varies tremendously from 1.6 percent throughout the general population to 43 percent in a selected working population. Unfortunately, only 30 percent of individuals suffering from sciatica seek medical attention only after experiencing these painful symptoms for a year or more. In a majority of cases, sciatica is caused by a herniated disc involving nerve root compression.
Sciatica is characterized as a collection of symptoms rather than a single condition. Pain and discomfort, along with tingling sensations, numbness and burning sensations are the most common symptoms indicating the presence of sciatica. Understanding the variety of symptoms as well as the causes for sciatica can be important in order to properly diagnose it and follow up with treatment. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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