Welcome back to the Adjust Your Health Chiropractic blog. Sciatic nerve pain is a common condition affecting people of all ages and from all walks of life. In fact, about 5-10 percent of people suffering from lower back pain have sciatica syndrome. Some of the most common causes of sciatica pain include trauma to the spine, overuse, degenerative conditions, and pregnancy. Along with these common causes, there are many risk factors that contribute to the onset of sciatica. Understanding the risk factors may help individuals prevent sciatic pain from occurring. Today, your chiropractor in Overland Park will explore some of the most common risk factors for sciatica to help you better understand this painful condition. If you would like to find natural sciatica relief, reach out to us today to arrange an appointment for gentle (no twist) chiropractic care and massage therapy.    

Six Common Risk Factors For Sciatica

Occupation

There are many jobs out there that require a lot of physical activity, repetitive movements, and prolonged sitting. Jobs in the service industry or in the construction industry may require an individual to lift and carry heavy objects, stand on their feet for long periods of time, or twist their back using repetitive motions, all of which can contribute to sciatic pain. What’s more, occupations that require individuals to drive a vehicle or sit at a desk for extended periods of time can also cause the onset of sciatica. Just about any occupation that places pressure on the lower back can contribute to sciatic nerve pain.  

Excessive Weight Gain/Obesity

One of the most common risk factors for sciatica is obesity and excessive or rapid weight gain. Carrying excess body weight, especially in the midsection, increases stress on the entire spine, but especially the lumbar spine. Obesity is a common cause for lumbar disc herniations that contribute to sciatic pain, numbness and tingling, and decreased mobility.

Age

As we age, our bodies undergo many different changes. When you think about how much wear-and-tear and injuries occur in the body over the years, it’s quite amazing just how durable the human body really is. Even for those who take care of their bodies and avoid injuries, there are still age-related risk factors related that can contribute to the onset of sciatica. Some of these age-related changes may include the development of joint conditions like osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease (weakening of the intervertebral discs of the spine), lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), disc herniations, and bone spurs. Each of these issues can aggravate the sciatic nerve causing pain and limiting function.

Extensive Sitting

Sitting for extensive amounts of time places pressure on the lumbar spine, which can irritate the sciatic nerve. What’s more, prolonged sitting can contribute to disc herniations, which can aggravate nearby nerves in the spine. As we just mentioned, occupations that require a person to sit for long periods of time can cause sciatic pain. These occupations may include office or desk jobs, driving vehicles such as semi-trucks, taxis, and emergency service vehicles. What’s more, something as simple as riding on a plane, bus, or in a car for a long duration can aggravate the sciatic nerve, leading to radiating pain, numbness and tingling, and weakness, which can affect a person’s ability to move and function with ease.

Heavy Lifting

Lifting heavy objects is one of the worst culprits for causing lower back and sciatic pain. Heavy lifting, especially when lifting objects incorrectly or lifting awkwardly-shaped objects, places stress on the spine. What’s more, lifting heavy objects can cause injuries to the spine, such as disc herniations, that may exacerbate an existing sciatic problem, or cause the onset of sciatica. Furthermore, having poor lifting posture is a sure way to aggravate nerve root compressions and existing sciatica symptoms.   

Diabetes

High blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage often referred to as diabetic neuropathy. The Mayo Clinic notes that different neuropathies can form in a diabetic’s body, including in the lower back and hips. The most common types of neuropathy that can affect the lower back include radiculoplexus neuropathy and mononeuropathy. While radiculoplexus neuropathy is more common among individuals with type 2 diabetes, typically affecting the nerves in the thighs, hips, buttocks, and legs, mononeuropathy is localized in the torso and legs. Radiculoplexus neuropathy may contribute to longer lasting symptoms of pain, weakness, and limited movements, while mononeuropathy occurs suddenly causing sharp, severe pain in lower back, hips, buttocks, and legs.

Talk To Your Chiropractor In Overland Park

If you are ready to experience the healing benefits of gentle chiropractic care, massage, and acupuncture to relieve your sciatica symptoms, reach out to Adjust Your Health Chiropractic. We can determine the best treatment plan to address your specific needs and health goals while helping you not only feel better, but also move and function better. Your health and wellness are our priority, so give our Top Rated Local® chiropractor in Overland Park a call to begin your path to sciatic pain relief. You can reach out to us online or call us at (913)681-7757 to arrange an appointment. We look forward to helping you achieve natural sciatic pain relief.

Thank you for reading!

Dr. Christina 🙂