Herniated Disc Sciatica

Should I be concerned that a herniated lumbar disc might cause sciatica?

It’s understandable if you’re concerned that your herniated lumbar disc may cause sciatica. Medical research shows that this disc issue is the most common cause of sciatica. 

A herniated lumbar disc occurs when the inner material of the disc poke out, or herniates, and this issue affects up to 20 in every 1,000 adults annually. Sciatica occurs when one of the sciatica nerves in your lower back is irritated or pinched. This issue affects up to 5% of people every year. Physical therapists can help you learn the connection between herniated lumbar discs and sciatica. These specialists can also help you find treatment for these interconnected lower back problems. 

How are herniated lumbar discs and sciatica connected?

One major reason that herniated lumbar discs and sciatica are connected is that both issues occur in the lower back. Lumbar discs provide cushioning between each of your five lumbar vertebrae. The sciatic nerves branch off the spinal cord in the lumbar region. 

When a lumbar disc is injured, the herniating disc material can rub against or pinch the sciatic nerve. In addition, an injured lumbar disc can irritate the sciatic nerve without touching it — such discs give off chemicals that can irritate nearby nerves. 

What can physical therapy do to treat a herniated lumbar disc and sciatica? 

Physical therapy is an effective treatment option for these two lower back issues. One reason is that physical therapists are trained to treat these and other musculoskeletal disorders. Another is that physical therapists offer many techniques that can treat your symptoms. Some of these techniques include: 

Find help treating your painful lower back problems at SOL PT

Looking for help treating a herniated lumbar disc and sciatica? Our physical therapists at SOL Physical Therapy are ready and willing to help you treat these interconnected issues. We can evaluate your back to determine the cause of your issues. Our therapists can also identify underlying issues that could lead to similar problems in the future. 

After that, we can create a therapy plan for you that’s customized to your specific needs. Your plan can help reduce your pain and decrease your risk of future back problems. Our team can even use virtual therapy sessions to treat your back issues right in your own home. 

Contact our team today for more information about all the back problems we can help you treat or to schedule an initial appointment.

About the author

Sports + Orthopedic Leaders Physical Therapy & Performance Training serves the communities of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Orinda, San Francisco and beyond. SOLPT’s award winning team of Physical Therapists, Performance Coaches and movement experts has helped thousands reach their rehabilitation and performance goals to move beyond pain. We're committed to helping anyone of any fitness level move effectively and more powerfully for a lifetime. We offer rehabilitation and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services.

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