Relationship Between Sciatica and Arthritis
There is a direct relationship between many forms of arthritis and sciatica. This is primarily because sciatica itself is not a condition, but a symptom of a separate underling cause. Therefore when arthritis aggravates the sciatic nerve area the patient experiences sciatica arthritis.
Sciatica Arhtritis Connections
The sciatic nerve is the by far the longest nerve within the body. It stretches from the roots of the lumber nerve located in the lower spine under the muscles of the buttocks and then reaches down the thigh and the back of the leg. Sciatica itself is a condition whereby this long sciatic nerve is pinched, compressed, or aggravated in some which results in pain. This is where the relationship between sciatica-arthritis comes into play. Some conditions of arthritis contribute to a situation where the sciatic nerve is pinched, compressed, or aggravated thus resulting in sciatica.
The most common sciatica arthritis relationship is related to a condition known as spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis usually occurs in individuals that are in the later stages of life. With arthritis the lumber spine can form bone spurs which can cause a narrowing, known as spinal stenosis, of the canal within the lumbar spine and as a result exert pressure on the sciatic nerve causing sciatica.
Arthritis can also be closely related to sciatica through disc herniation. This can occur when the intervertebral discs within the spine are subjected to a sudden or forceful action that can cause the soft inner portion of the discs to form cracks that permeate the connective tissue that is on the outside of each disc. This penetration and breakage can exert pressure on the sciatic nerve. This is a precursor to more severe arthritis and is a common cause of sciatica in younger patients.
Spondylolisthesis can be instigated through arthritis when the vertebral bone is subject to hairline cracks or malformation as a result of the arthritis. In this instance the bone is more likely to slip and create pressure on the sciatic nerve if pinched or compressed. This is similar to disc herniation but involves a slipping between two discs rather than with herniation where it is a crack within a single disc.
Another Sciatica Arthritis connection lies at the fact that arthritis can also create a condition within the body where an individual is subject to piriformis syndrome. With this syndrome the muscle of the buttocks is weakened and therefore exposed to irritation and injury from what would normally be considered low impact or no impact activity. In this situation the muscle can put pressure on the sciatic nerve after something as benign as prolonged sitting, walking, or even a simple fall.
Each of these demonstrate that there is a relationship between sciatica and arthritis even though that relationship may be indirect. The sciatica arthritis connection is nothing more than the fact that Sciatica is simply the symptom of the arthritis contributing to the irritation, pressure, or pinching of the sciatic nerve. In these instances the arthritis is not the precise reason for the pain, but it is the reason why the pain exists. This is good news because when the pain is not directly from the arthritis, the condition can be relieved and the pain will stop. This being different than other forms of pain that are more a direct result of the arthritis itself.
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