Sciatica Pain After Work Injury in Virginia
Many on-the-job injuries cause workers to suffer from sciatic pain. Sciatica is not a diagnosis, but a symptom; meaning that something more is happening within the body that is causing your sciatic pain.
You can experience sciatic pain caused by many different things. I found this list (below) from www.spine-health.com highlighting the 6 most common causes of sciatic pain. While there are several causes not on the list, the diagnoses detailed below seem to be the ones my clients face most often.
6 Most Common Causes of Sciatica or Sciatic Pain
- Lumbar herniated disc – A herniated disc occurs when the soft inner core of the disc (nucleus pulpous) leaks out, or herniates, through the fibrous outer core (annulus) and irritates the contiguous nerve root. A herniated disc is sometimes referred to as a slipped disc, ruptured disc, bulging disc, protruding disc, or a pinched nerve, and sciatica is the most common symptom of a lumbar herniated disc.
- Degenerative disc disease – While disc degeneration is a natural process that occurs with aging, for some people one or more degenerated discs in the lower back can also irritate a nerve root and cause sciatica. Degenerative disc disease is diagnosed when weakened disc results in excessive micro-motion at that spinal level, and inflammatory proteins from inside the disc become exposed and irritate the area (including the nerve roots).
- Isthmic spondylolisthesis – This condition occurs when a small stress fracture allows one vertebral body to slip forward on another (e.g. the L5 vertebra slips over the S1 vertebra). With a combination of disc space collapse, fracture, and the vertebral body slipping forward, the nerve can get pinched and cause sciatica.
- Lumbar spinal stenosis – This condition commonly causes sciatica due to a narrowing of the spinal canal. Lumbar spinal stenosis is related to natural aging in the spine and is relatively common in adults over age 60. The condition typically results from a combination of one or more of the following: enlarged facet joints, overgrowth of soft tissue, and a bulging disc placing pressure on the nerve roots, causing sciatica pain.
- Piriformis syndrome – The sciatic nerve can get irritated as it runs under the piriformis muscle in the buttock. If the piriformis muscle irritates or pinches a nerve root that comprises the sciatic nerve, it can cause sciatica-type pain. This is not true radiculopathy (the clinical definition
About the Author: Michele Lewane
The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.