Back and Leg Pain – How the Sciatic Nerve Is Affected

Janice CarsonJanice Carson

When you experience chronic back and leg pain, the problem may be the sciatic nerves. There are fibers that originate at the base of the spinal column on both sides of the first and second sacral and fourth and fifth lumbar levels. Back and leg pain can originate in the nerves that run from below the buttock region down through the thigh area. The sciatic nerves are close to the surface of the skin in this area, and go down to the soles of the feet. When there is pressure on the sciatic nerve, back and leg pain can start.

Electrical impulses begin in the sciatic nerve, and extend into the muscles of the hamstring. Muscles below the knees are also affected, so when different sensations occur, you can experience back and leg pain. The position of the leg and foot can cause back and leg pain when sitting in the same position for extended periods. This is why health care professionals recommend moving around when traveling on a plane, or stopping and taking a break during long drives to prevent back and leg pain. An injury can also cause pain in that region.

The reason that back and leg pain can occur when sitting in the same position for extended periods, is that pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve below the buttock region. If the spinal column isn’t aligned properly or if there are ruptured discs, back and leg pain could result. When a disc in the spinal column is herniated, part of the inside section of the disc is more prominent, and pressure is placed on the roots of the nerves that run from the spinal column. If there’s swelling present in any of the muscles, this can also cause back and leg pain.

Since there are a number of medical conditions that may result in back and leg pain, each patient must receive individualized treatment. Many of the conditions that are responsible for back and leg pain are caused in the workplace. One of the main issues is micro-trauma. When you sit for long periods of time without taking breaks during the day, micro-trauma can result. Back and leg pain can also be caused by twisting excessively or by sitting in a position which causes the back to bend forward. It’s important to maintain proper posture when sitting at a desk or working on the computer for extended periods of time to avoid injuries.