Scoliosis and Sciatica – Can Scoliosis Cause Sciatica?

Scoliosis and Sciatica

Many times, the spinal curves are associated with all kinds of related problems. Most doctors will inevitably blame them for a plethora of affections. However, these curves may not always represent the main issue. In fact, there are patients suffering from different conditions that can go undetected without proper tests.

Scoliosis and sciatica can sometimes go hand in hand. They appear at the same time, but they may not always be related. In fact, most doctors will struggle to determine a relationship between these two affections, even if they affect the patient simultaneously.

Sciatica relates to a leg pain that begins in the lower back. It goes down through the buttocks and affects a leg or both legs. It is estimated that four out of 10 adults will experience it at some point or another. Even if they go through all kinds of tests, they will be told the cause is not crystal clear.

If patients do get a cause out of their tests, this cause will most likely point at a herniated disc. The disc puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing all the painful sensations and discomfort associated with the affection. Now, can scoliosis cause sciatica? What does it mean when they come together?

Scoliosis and sciatica

Scoliosis and sciatica do coexist for more reasons. Scoliosis can, indeed, cause painful sensations in the sciatic nerve, but such cases are quite rare. Instead, patients are more likely to develop sciatic pains due to postural issues. Just like scoliosis can cause sciatica, sciatica may also lead to scoliosis.

Can scoliosis cause sciatica?

Yes, it can. In fact, scoliosis and sciatica are often associated because their symptoms are similar. One of them can cause the other and they can both affect a patient at the same time. The good news is there are ways to overcome both affections and a few lifestyle changes will most likely work a very long way in the treatment.​

Scoliosis and sciatica connections

1. Pinched nerve

The pinched nerve is the main connection between these affections. Some people suffering from scoliosis will end up with unusual movements and rotations in the vertebrae, which will inevitably pinch a nerve root. As a direct consequence, those patients will also end up experiencing sciatic pain.

Then, it is worth mentioning pseudo sciatica as well. Pseudo sciatica is slightly different, but the painful sensations are similar. Scoliosis curves will obviously affect the balance of the spinal column. The spine will then force the patient to adjust.

Most patients will try to compensate by pushing some of the weight on one side or the other. Most commonly, they shift extra weight on the right side – as well as the right leg. As a direct consequence, they will end up with chronic leg pain, which is similar to sciatic pain.

2. Arthritis

Arthritis plays an extremely important role in the connection between scoliosis and sciatica too. People who experience scoliosis are very likely to end up with arthritis too at some point in their lives, especially if they have scoliosis for long periods of time.

Arthritis will kick in faster and will also affect the spinal area targeted by scoliosis. As a direct result, patients may end up with a pain that feels similar to sciatica. Plus, extra pressure on the sciatic nerve may trigger the affection too overtime.

So, can scoliosis cause sciatica? Absolutely. In fact, some doctors may also provide the sciatic scoliosis diagnostic in some patients. It usually begins with a herniated disc, which will naturally lead to sciatica anyway.

The herniated disc may also cause asymmetric spasms in the nearby muscular tissues. The result? Postural deformity. In medical terms, this is known as sciatic scoliosis. Once the source of the pain is annihilated, the spine will return to normal too.

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Solutions for sciatica when caused by scoliosis

There are more treatments that will work both against scoliosis and sciatica. Doctors may prescribe various procedures based on how severe the condition is. Most people worry when they have to deal with sciatica if it is caused by scoliosis.

This is only a misconception though. The truth is the sciatic pain is much easier to treat if it is caused by scoliosis. No matter how intense or severe it is, chances are you will never require a surgical procedure, but just some noninvasive treatments.

Once the doctor comes up with this cause for the sciatic pain, there are usually a few different treatments you can get. Remember that painkillers will never heal the issue. In fact, they only target the effects, so you will need more than that.

Medication and drugs can, indeed, be used to ease the pain, especially if it prevents you from doing daily activities. But then, they will never work on the spinal misalignment. They will never affect the curvature caused by the affection.

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Most common treatments for scoliosis and sciatica

Chiropractic adjustments are extremely common and represent a conventional treatment for such affections. It will target the tension on the sciatic nerve and can easily relieve the pressure. A few sessions will most likely provide exquisite results in no time.

Exercises and stretches are also recommended against sciatica and scoliosis. They are normally recommended by a doctor or another professional. Sure, a personal trainer makes a good choice, but then, such exercises are basic. You will most likely be able to perform them at home without too much hassle. Their role is to adjust and strengthen the spinal column by soothing muscles around it.

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Back braces may also represent a good choice. Avoid settling for some generic braces you can find over the Internet. They can aggravate your problem in the long run. Instead, opt for a customized one that has been specifically built for your size.

Finally, medication is used with the one and only purpose to ameliorate the pain. You can do without it as well. However, if the pains are too severe, medication is actually recommended to keep it under control – despite the potential side effects.

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