It is very important to understand and find the cause of your sciatic nerve pain. This way, the root of the problem can be addressed, rather than just getting treatment for the symptoms of the nerve pain.
A disc in your lower back may bulge or herniate, pushing out to the side and putting pressure on nerves. Sitting for long hours, bending and driving in a car increases the pressure on the herniated disc, which in turns increases the compression of your sciatic nerve.
Stenosis or narrowing of the intervertebral opening through which a sciatic nerve root runs. It leads to compression of your sciatic nerve especially when you do certain movements like bending backwards.
Degeneration of your joints happen as you age. It leads to the formation of bone spurs (osteophytes), thickening of facet joint capsules and thinning discs that may directly compress your sciatic nerve.
Instability of a joint in your spine (vertebral segment) occurs if one vertebra slips over the one below it (spondylolisthesis). This can compress the sciatic nerve.
Traumatic injury to your lower back
Falls, motor vehicle accidents or a direct hit to your lower back can cause fractures of your spine or soft tissue injuries, which in turn leads to inflammation, irritation and compression of the sciatic nerve.
Inflammation is a chemical process that takes place in your body after an injury. It causes swelling and this in turn can irritate your sciatic nerve, depending on the area of inflammation.
Sciatic nerve entrapment or tethering
As the sciatic nerve runs from your lower back, through layers of buttock muscles, down through layers of thigh and calf muscles, there are various areas where it can become entrapped. The soft tissues and muscles around your nerve are called the mechanical interface and can prevent the normal gliding movement of the nerve. The most common area of entrapment is when a muscle next to the sciatic nerve becomes tighter, less flexible or overworked. Common examples of muscles that cause entrapment is your hamstring and piriformis muscles.
Contraction or movement of the piriformis muscle (situated in your buttock) can irritate or pinch your sciatic nerve. It happens when the muscle spasms and becomes tight, disrupting the flexibility of the mechanical interface. It happens even more commonly in individuals where the sciatic nerve splits and one portion passes directly through the piriformis muscle. Even though sciatic nerve pain is a symptom of piriformis syndrome, it will be vital to find the cause as to why the piriformis muscle has become overworked or tight.
Direct traumatic injury to the sciatic nerve
Stab wounds, falls, fractures, failed surgeries or motor vehicle accidents are some of the things that can directly injure or lacerate your sciatic nerve anywhere throughout your leg, depending on where the injury takes place.
Posture, weight, fitness, pregnancy and leg length are a few things that could increase your risk of a sciatic nerve injury.
People with certain occupations may be at a higher risk of developing sciatic nerve pain. In general, sitting or driving for long periods of time without proper posture or frequently moving the spine can be a contributing factor to sciatic nerve pain.
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 is important for maintaining good nerve health and to maintain the sheath that covers nerves, which is important for nerves to function and conduct impulses.
Tumors that form in the bones of your spine, next to your spine or anywhere down your leg can compress the sciatic nerve.
Infections or abscesses
Certain diseases like septic arthritis or TB spine can cause an abscess and area of infection and swelling in your spine. This can lead to compression of the sciatic nerve.