Causes of Sciatica

Here is a list of possible causes of sciatica:

  • Lumbar Disc Herniation

There are different types of disc herniations. I’m won’t get too technical with all the variation but for simplicity sake, disc herniation means that the inner center material of the disc (aka nucleus pulposus) is spewing out of the ring of fibers (aka annulus fibrosus) that is surrounds it. The outer ring is torn and the spewing of the nucleus pulposus contacts nerve root(s) contributing to the pain going down the right, left or both legs.

Herniated Disc
Herniated Disc






  • Bulging Disc

As you see above in the picture differentiating the various disc issues, bulging disc is when the the disc is intact as a whole but the back portion of the it bulged back. That bulging disc is irritating the nerve root or roots in the area hence the pain down the leg.

  • Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis is a small deep muscle in the glut region that can get tight actually adding pressure onto the sciatic nerve itself causing the pain down the leg. For some people the sciatic nerve travels over, under of even in between the fibers adding irritation to the nerve contributing to your pain. Generally piriformis stretches will help alleviate the pain.



  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Lumbar Stenosis


  • Spondylolisthesis

Remember any irritation to the sciatic nerve root(s) or the nerve itself is the cause of the pain down its traveling path.