Affecting as many as 40% of people throughout their lifetime, Sciatica is when the sciatic nerve, which runs from your hips to your feet is irritated.
The pain you experience from Sciatica can range from mild to excruciating, but in most cases, it will go away within 4-6 weeks. Though, of course, when you do experience it, it feels like it will never go away.
If you are suffering from sciatica, you may find yourself searching the internet for advice though sometimes myths can filter out the facts. So, what are some common myths about sciatica? And what’s the truth?
Myth 1: Sciatica Is On Its Own Either a Condition or a Diagnosis
Fact: People commonly refer to Sciatica as a condition or a diagnosis, but it’s officially classed as a symptom, indicating that something is irritating a nerve in your lower back. From this, a medical professional will have to decipher what is causing pressure on the nerve.
Myth 2: All Leg Pain Will Qualify as Sciatica
Fact: Many people who suffer from leg pain will refer to it as Sciatica, but often it’s not. Leg pain can be caused by a range of other problems, such as vascular issues, muscle strains, cellulitis, or a different nerve being irritated. A true symptom of Sciatica is pain running from the mid-buttock down the back of your leg, commonly past the knee and down through your calf. It’s recommended that if you believe you’re suffering from Sciatica, consult a medical professional to have this confirmed.
Myth 3: It is Unknown As To What Causes Sciatica
Fact: Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes either pinched or compressed, and that can typically be caused by a bulging or herniated disk between the vertebrae in the lower spine. Sciatica can also be caused by a growth on the spine itself or by a condition called spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal. In very rare cases, a spinal tumor can compress the nerve, causing sciatic pain.
Myth 4: Sciatica Cannot Be Prevented
Fact: Not all cases of Sciatica can be prevented, but staying active and ensuring that you use a proper form when exercising and during activities can also go a long way towards reducing the recurrence of lower back pain. Another good way to reduce and prevent reoccurring pain due to sciatica is maintaining a strong core as this will strengthen the muscles in your abdomen and back.
Myth 5: Everyone With Sciatica Will Suffer The Same Symptoms
Fact: People suffering from Sciatica will experience a broad range of symptoms. The level of pain and irritation depends on the severity and the duration of the condition. Pain can also last from a few weeks to much longer.
Myth 6: The Only Way to Cure Sciatica For Good is Surgery
Fact: Even though it can take months for Sciatica or an associated back injury to get better – few people will end up needing surgery, as it is a very ‘last resort’ option. Many people will find that their sciatica resolves itself, although there is lots of evidence that engaging in things like physiotherapy and other exercises can significantly improve the chances of both recovery and future flare-ups.
These are just some myths and facts that are commonly heard and relate to Sciatica. Whatever your symptoms, you shouldn’t need to suffer in silence as many different Sciatica treatments can provide you with the pain relief you need and help you to restore your quality of life.
About The Author:
Melissa Bell has a strong background in nutrition education, fitness and yoga, and experience working on specialized stretching, bodybuilding, and weight loss programs. She is actively studying Japanese, doing research and traveling for conferences while taking care of two children.