Home spinal stenosis What causes sciatic nerve pain?

What causes sciatic nerve pain?

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Simply put the sciatic nerve pain results from the irritation of the nerve due to the pinching of the nerve by a ruptured or herniated disc. This leads to a condition known as sciatica. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve found in the body, running from the lower back to the legs. It connects from the spinal cord, the buttock, terminating at the limbs.

Source of pain

Those who complain about the sciatic nerve pain say that they experience it from low back and the area situated behind the thigh. Finally, the pain ends in the leg.


There are many tell-tale signs sciatic nerve pain and will mainly include any of the following:

Pain when bending

If you experience a sharp pain at the waist when you bend or when you cough, you could be suffering from sciatica. The pain could also be experienced when you sneeze or sit for long hours.

Tingling sensation or numbness

When you have the sciatic nerve pain leading to sciatica, the first thing that you lose is the sensation of touch. There is numbness in the affected area.


There may be general body weakness and in particular, the legs. This happens to the point that you are unable to move. The problem could go on for weeks from the time you start experiencing pain.

Back pain

The back pain may be caused by the strain or a tear in the ligaments. When you feel a sharp pain that radiates from the low back, shooting all the way to the leg, you could be experiencing sciatic nerve problem.

Herniated disc

One of the main suspects when you experience the pain, you should watch out for the herniated disc. The disc plays an important role in the body by cushioning the spinal vertebrae. Unfortunately, the disc ages as time goes by and may thus degenerate. When it weakens, the water inside comes out the flexibility is lost. There is pressure-build up on this nerve and eventually, one experiences a lot of pain.

Spinal stenosis

 The spinal column may narrow down as it degenerates .The narrowing problem is  what we are calling spinal stenosis and  is one of the main reasons for the nerve problem at the back. There is usually a build-up of pressure on the nerve roots, hence the pain.


The pressure on the nerve roots may lead to undue pressure on the sciatic nerve.However, the tumors rarely causes the problem.

Piriformis syndrome

Another problem that is associated with the pain is what we call the piriformis syndrome. There is a muscle in the buttock area that we are calling the piriformis muscle. The muscle is associated with the irritation of the sciatic nerve hence the pain that one feels.

Placing a big wallet at the back

One is advised not to put a big wallet at the back pocket especially if you are going to sit for long hours. In order to ease the pain, it is advisable that you put it in the front pocket inside.

Injuries and infections could also lead to the problem.

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