Sciatica: the causes

The cause of sciatica is usually related to a herniated disc. Between two vertebrae there is a "damper" system called an intervertebral disc. It is composed of a nucleus in the center, surrounded by a cartilaginous ring. This disc is the cause of the majority of sciatica.

Following a violent or repeated effort, but also because of a local fragility of the intervertebral disc, the damper system may be loose. The disc splits and its nucleus comes out: it is a herniated disc.

This hernia will come to press the root of the sciatic nerve causing pain all the way. This phenomenon can occur between the last two lumbar vertebrae (L4 and L5) or between the last lumbar and the first sacral vertebra (L5 and S1). The cause, that is to say the disc that gives rise to sciatica, is often identified by the characters, the path of pain.

There are other causes of sciatica. It can be an osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, an infection, a tumor ...

Depending on the symptoms, the general condition of the patient, the evolution of sciatica, the doctor will not systematically search the cause of sciatica by exams, because there is a good chance that it will be a herniated disc.

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