Sciatica describes pain felt along the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back, down through the buttock, hamstrings and into the lower leg. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. The spinal sections it originates from include L4, L5 or S1. Pressure on the sciatic nerve from a herniated disc, joint inflammation, or compression of the nerve from bony arthritic growths or a locked facet joint in the lower spine can commonly cause sciatica.
Other common causes are: spine degeneration, facet joint injuries, piriformis syndrome, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and sacroiliac dysfunction You’re most likely to get sciatica when you’re 30 to 50 years old. It may happen due to the effects of general spine wear and tear or a traumatic injury that causes sudden pressure on the lumbar discs eg. lifting, bending or sneezing.
Scoliosis is not a disease, but rather it is a term used to describe any abnormal, sideways curvature of the spine. Viewed from the back, a typical spine is straight. When scoliosis occurs, the spine can curve in one of three ways: The spine curves to the side as a single curve to the left (shaped like the letter C), called levoscoliosis; the spine curves to the side as a single curve to the right (shaped like a backwards letter C), called dextroscoliosis; the spine has two curves (shaped like the letter S).
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the open spaces within your spine, which can put pressure on your spinal cord and the nerves that travel through the spine. Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the neck and lower back.
While some people have no signs or symptoms, spinal stenosis can cause pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and problems with bladder or bowel function.
Spinal stenosis is most commonly caused by wear-and-tear changes in the spine related to aging. In severe cases of spinal stenosis, doctors may recommend surgery to create additional space for the spinal cord or nerves.
Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one bone in your back (vertebra) slides forward over the bone below it. It most often occurs in the lower spine. In some cases, this may lead to your spinal cord or nerve roots being squeezed. This can cause back pain and numbness or weakness in one or both legs. Sometimes when a vertebra slips out of place, you may have no symptoms at all or no symptoms until years later. Then, you may have pain in your low back or buttock. Muscles in your leg may feel tight or weak.
Pregnancy back pain typically happens where the pelvis meets your spine, at the sacroiliac joint or SIJ, in the joints of the lumbar spine or at the joint between the two halves of the pelvic rim known as the pubic symphysis.
There are many possible reasons why it happens. Here are some of the more likely causes:
During pregnancy, your body makes a hormone called relaxin that allows ligaments in the pelvic area to relax and thus the joints to become looser in preparation for the birth process. The same hormone can cause ligaments that support the spine to loosen, leading to instability and pain, particularly if prior to pregnancy you had some weakness of the muscles supporting this region.
As the uterus expands, two parallel sheets of muscles (the rectus abdominis muscles or Six pack muscles), which run from the rib cage to the pubic bone, may separate along the center seam. This separation may worsen back pain.
During a healthy pregnancy, women typically gain weight. The spine has to support that weight. That can cause lower back pain. The weight of the growing and uterus also puts pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in the pelvis and back.
Pregnancy shifts your center of gravity. As a result, you may gradually – even without noticing – adjust your posture and the way you move. This may result in back pain or strain.
A herniated or bulging disc refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (discs) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine.
A spinal disc is a little like a jelly donut, with a softer center encased within a tougher exterior. Sometimes called a slipped disc or a ruptured disc, a herniated disc occurs when some of the softer “jelly” pushes out through a crack in the tougher exterior. A herniated disc can irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, numbness or weakness in an extremity.
Arthritis is a general term meaning “joint inflammation”. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA). There are several causes for OA, such as a trauma as a child or young, adult, postural imbalance, repetitive stress, and heavy manual labor to name a few. Physio Logic is successful at treating this condition with numerous conservative treatment options.
Joint pain is discomfort that arises from any joint — the point where two or more bones meet. Joint pain is sometimes called arthritis or arthralgia. Joint pain can be mild, causing some soreness each time you move your joint. Or joint pain can be severe, making it impossible to use your joint.
A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments — the tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect two bones together in your joints.
A strain is a stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon. A tendon is a fibrous cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones.
The sacroiliac joint (SIJ) is a term used to describe the place where the sacrum and the iliac bones join. The main purpose of the joint is to connect the spine and the pelvis. As a result, there is very little movement at the sacroiliac joint.
The major reasons for pain around the sacroiliac joint include: muscle tightness, pregnancy: the pelvis widens to prepare for birth, stretching the ligaments, arthritis, difference in leg lengths, wearing away of the cartilage (cushion) between the bones, trauma from impact, such as landing hard on buttocks.
Although, SIJ pain can be caused by trauma, this type of injury more often develops over a long period of time.
Symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction include: Pain in the lower back, (usually only on one side), hip pain, discomfort with bending over or standing after sitting for long periods, improvement in pain when lying down.