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What Causes Sciatica?

The symptoms of sciatica may be the result of any of the following conditions:

• Herniated Disc: Lumbar discs are meant to provide a cushion between vertebra; when one of these discs bulges or herniates, disc material can press against an adjacent nerve root and compress nerve tissue.
• Trauma: Direct nerve compression can be caused by external forces on the lumbar nerve roots. This can happen during auto accidents, sports injuries, or other traumatic events.
• Pregnancy: Pregnant women are more likely to develop herniated discs; this is often the cause of sciatica during pregnancy.
• Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: This condition occurs when the spinal canal narrows and compresses the spinal cord and nerves. Spinal degeneration due to aging is one cause of this condition, as well as disc herniations.
• Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis causes sciatica when one vertebrae slips and is displaced, leading to spinal nerve root compression and leg pain.
• Spinal Tumors: Both benign and malignant spinal tumors are rare, but they can cause sciatica symptoms as a result of nerve compression.