How To Know If Your Chronic Pain Is Caused By Sciatica

August 1, 2023
Low Back Pain
by Kolton Opdahl

What is Sciatica?

Today, we will be breaking down how to know if your chronic pain is caused by Sciatica. In order to go over the symptoms of Sciatica, we must first learn what Sciatic pain is. Sciatica is described as nerve pain caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, which is the largest bundle of nerves in the human body. This nerve is located in the back of the pelvis, usually at the base of the spine, but also in the hips, legs, ankles, knees, and ankles.

It extends from the lower back to the buttocks and legs and helps to communicate with the leg muscles. As a result, pain can occur when the sciatic nerve is pinched or jammed, when there is a herniated disc or an injury to the spinal cord. The pain originates from the sciatic nerve and branches out from the lower back into the hips, buttocks, and legs. Less often, the nerve can be compressed by a tumor or damaged by diseases such as diabetes. 

how to know if your chronic pain is caused by Sciatica

How Sciatica Affects Your Body

While Sciatica may cause many painful symptoms, here is a peek at the most common ones. Basically, these include back pain, fatigue, muscle, and joint pain. The pain is often described as burning, tingling, or numbness. It may be difficult to find a position that relieves your Sciatic pain. Sciatica symptoms, which may vary depending on the point of impingement, include:

  • Sharp, burning, or “electric” pain sensations running through the buttock or leg
  • Lower back pain
  • Tingling or loss of sensation in the leg or foot
  • Problems with leg/foot muscle control

Although Sciatica overall usually affects one leg; both legs are rarely affected together. Mild sciatica usually disappears over time. However, some people also have severe symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, fatigue, muscle cramps, and muscle pain. Sciatica pain is typically experienced as a constant burning or pain that starts in the lower back or buttocks. This pain can be accompanied by numbness in the back and legs.

how to know if your chronic pain is caused by Sciatica

What causes Sciatica?

  1. Herniated or slipped disc: When the soft, gel-like center of a spinal disc protrudes through a tear in the tougher outer layer, it can compress the sciatic nerve root.
  2. Spinal stenosis: A narrowing of the spinal canal can put pressure on the sciatic nerve as it exits the spine.
  3. Degenerative disc disease: As we age, the spinal discs can lose their flexibility and cushioning ability, which can lead to sciatica.
  4. Piriformis syndrome: The piriformis muscle in the buttocks can sometimes compress the sciatic nerve, leading to sciatica.
  5. Trauma: Consequently injuries to the spine or buttocks can cause sciatic nerve compression.
  6. Tumors: Rarely, tumors or growths on the spine can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
  7. Pregnancy: The added weight and pressure of pregnancy can sometimes compress the sciatic nerve.

Accordingly, treatment for sciatica will depend on the underlying cause of the condition and can range from rest and physical therapy to surgery in severe cases.

How Regenerative Medicine Helps Sciatic Pain

Furthermore, patients who do not respond to conventional treatments have to look elsewhere for some form of relief. Regenerative medicine therapies have long been hailed as the path forward to developing treatment for diseases and conditions, that conventional medicine is not able to properly treat. Most importantly, regenerative medicine has incredible capabilities, they release a number of growth factors that encourage the body to repair itself and stem cells can differentiate into nearly any cell in the human body. Patients who have suffered permanent nerve damage may be able to utilize regenerative medicine in order to treat Sciatica.

how to know if your chronic pain is caused by Sciatica
The female patient getting an injection in the clinic

Accordingly, regenerative medicine therapy is effective in reducing the amount of inflammation present in the area that they are introduced in. Certainly some researchers believe that regenerative medicine can greatly reduce the level of inflammation in patients with sciatica. Additionally, if a patient has sciatica from another back-related issue, such as degenerative disc disease, stem cells may be able to address the underlying cause to reduce the patients pain level. Basically, regenerative medicine may be an extremely promising treatment method for patients who are suffering from sciatica. Thank you for reading today’s blog: how to know if your chronic pain is caused by Sciatica.


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