Sciatic Nerve Pain - Bulging Disc

Common Denominator Bulging Disc & Sciatica

Bulging Discs And Sciatica have one thing in common...

...they share the same underlying cause...

Look at the iceberg below and see if you can pinpoint nerve pain and bulging discs...

Sciatica & Bulging Discs

As you can see I have placed the bulging discs in the section below the symptoms, please follow my reasoning...

There are people who have bulging discs but no pain at all, and there are people with lots of pain and no sign of anything wrong with their discs...And there are people who are clearly suffering from sciatic pains AND they are diagnosed with a clearly visible bulging disc. And I already explained why I think it is highly doubtful that a herniated or bulging disc is the cause of sciatic pains.

Sciatica And Bulging Discs: Strong Statistical Correlation...

There definitely is a correlation between sciatica and bulging discs, but the bulging disc is not necessarily the cause of sciatica. Ofcourse it could be that the bulging disc causes your nerves to be pinched, but once again, there are people with pinched nerves and NO pain whatsoever, and there are people without any sign of pinched nerves, yet with full scale symptoms of sciatica.

Statistical science (and simple reasoning as well -:) teaches us that correlation does not imply causality, which means that just because we often find things together, does not mean that one causes the other. So just because there are people with sciatic pains who have bulging discs, does not prove that the bulging disc caused the pain. But there must be a cause for the pain, and there must be a reason for the discs to bulge...

So where do bulging discs come from then, and what then is the best explanation for scaitica? That, I think is the million dollar question which I will now answer.

Remember the picture above? The tip of the iceberg are the symptoms of pain, one level deeper you'll see a number of conditions. If you look carefully you'll find most of the possible 'causes' for sciatia that people think about. Now if you go further down you'll find that there are underlying imbalances which lead to dysfunctions which lead to conditions which can lead to symptoms. And the best treatmenst focus on the deeper levels, because once and if you take away the imbalances, one by one the dysfunctions will disappear, your body will next heal and correct the conditions and your symptoms of pain will just have to go. Now wouldn't that be great?...

Bulging Discs, Wear & Tear And Sciatica

But let me get back to bulging discs and sciatica...

Bulging discs can be the result of uneven wear and tear on your intervertebral discs, or the result of a gradual weakening of your discs due to an over-acidic environment, or the lack of circulation around your discs, or nutritional deficiencies, or gradual dehydration of your discs...

I could go on and on about that, but let me focus on the uneven wear or tear, because my research shows that uneven wear and tear can be caused by the very same thing that also causes scientifically proven pain patterns that clearly resemble all the symptoms of sciatica.

I am talking about posture and muscular imbalances here. If you allow some of your muscles to 'take a break', because of your sedentary lifestyle, this could lead to a slouched posture...

With a slouched posture, at least 2 things happen:

1. Your vertebrae are no longer nicely stacked on top of each other, but now lean forward or backward and require your muscles to act as guylines at moments they should have been relaxed. Let me explain. If you stack your vertebrae straight on top of each other, no force is needed to keep the stack in balance. Now if you let the top few vertebrae hang forward, now all of a sudden you need something to prevent the whole from falling forward.

Think of someone who holds his or her head too much forward, now the muscles in the back of the upper back, and the neck, have to continually engage. Even when you are standing and sitting...

I hope you get what I mean, let me show you with the pic below.

Wrong Posture Can Cause Sciatica And Bulging Discs

In the picture above you see on the right a guy with nice posture, his head resting on top of his spine. When standing up straight this guy's vertebrae require no muscles to engage to prevent his head from falling forward. Now look at the guy at the left, his pelvis is tilted backward, which could be caused by tight hamstrings, and with a back tilted pelvis his lower back flattens, which requires his head to move forward to keep balance in the spine as a whole. In this case a lot of muslces have to engage even when this man is doing something as simple as just standing. No longer sits his head nicely balanced on top of his spine, no way, his head hangs forward and requires at least the muscles in the back of his upper back to continually engage and work.

OK, I still owe you the second thing that can happen as a result of slouched posture...

2. With slouched posture your vertebrae are no longer nicely stacked on top of each other, and that has effects on the load dividing capacity of the discs that rest between those vertebrae. For example in the picture above, with the guy on the left, the head hangs forward, causing his neck vertebrae to be tilted forward all day...

This tilting forward of the head and neck vertebrae results in uneven wear and load on the discs in between. And if that takes long enough, you are a neck disc herniation waiting to happen...

So wrong posture like shown above can not only cause bulging or herniated discs in the neck, but may also cause development of so-called triggerpoints in the upper back and neck area which could lead to all sorts of pinched nerve symptoms in the upper body including arms and hands. Now suppose I am right in stating that the pelvis is tilted backward due to shortened hamstrings, pulling his pelvis backward. I can assure you that this person then most likely has triggerpoints in his leg muscles as well.

So let me finish this article with one final picture, which shows triggerpoints in some leg muscles that are known to cause radiating pain symptoms that are known as sciatica...

Sciatic Pains And Triggerpoints

When I was first trying to understand the origins of sciatic pains and looked into the causes of bulging discs, I ran into triggerpoint therapy. And what I found there gave me the best explanation for sciatic pains I ever found so far.

I even decided to 'go abck to school' and enlisted in a triggerpoint therapy course and there I learned how to perform triggerpoint therapy and I dare say this works! In the picture above on the left and right you see pain areas marked in red, with small plus marks as well. In the middle you'll see all these plus marks placed in the muscles where they are known to be found.

I have yet to meet someone with all full blown signs of sciatic pains who did not have buttock and/or leg muscles full of triggerpoints.

I sincerely hope that you now have more insight in what bulging discs and sciatica have in common.

Next you'll get more info on the correlation between sciatica and pregnancy, and after that I will talk more about triggerpoints and sciatica as well. And once you get all of  this, you will hopefully understand what the best treatment is for sciatica nerve pain!