What causes of sciatica?
Sciatica might be a symptom of a “pinched nerve” changing at least one of the lower spinal nerves. The nerve might be pinched outside or in of the spinal canal as it passes into the leg.
States that cause sciatica:
- A slipped or herniated disc that causes pressure on a nerve root — This is the most common source of sciatica. This develops when a little muscle that lies deep in the buttocks, the piriformis muscle, becomes spasms or tight, which can put pressure on and irritate the sciatic nerve.
- Spondylolisthesis — This is a slippage of one vertebra so that it is out of line with the one above it, narrowing the opening through which the nerve exits
- Piriformis syndrome — This develops when the piriformis muscle, a small muscle that lies deep in the buttocks, becomes tight or spasms, which can put pressure on and irritate the sciatic nerve.
- Spinal stenosis — This condition results from narrowing of the spinal canal with pressure on the nerves.
How is sciatica diagnosed?
A physical examination, and a complete medical history, including a review of your symptoms can help the health care provider discover its cause and diagnose sciatica. For instance, she or he might perform a straight leg raise test, in which you lie in your back with your legs straight. The doctor notice the level at which your pain starts and will slowly lift each leg. This evaluation can help ascertain if there’s an issue with one of your disks and nail the affected nerves.
Other diagnostic tests might be performed to search for other reasons for sciatic pain. Determined by what your doctor locates, she or he might recommend additional testing. Such testing might contain:
- X ray to try to find breaks in the spinal column
- Nerve conduction velocity studies/electromyography to analyze how nicely electric nerve impulses travel through the sciatic nerve
- Myelogram injected between the vertebrae to ascertain if disk or a vertebra is causing the pain
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan to create images of the structures of the back
Nevertheless, most patients with sciatica can be treated without the need for additional diagnostic testing.