5 Myths About Sciatica

Pain that radiates down the sciatic nerve is known as sciatica. The sciatic nerve starts in your lower back and goes all the way down to your hips, buttocks, and legs. In most cases, sciatica only affects one side of the body. If you have sciatica, you may experience a mild ache, searing sensation, or unbearable pain.

Unfortunately, there are many myths about sciatica that you may hear when speaking to others or browsing the internet. Let's debunk some of the most common sciatica myths so that you can make informed decisions about your condition.

Myth 1: Sciatica will go away on its own some rest.

Many people assume that they don't have to do much to find relief from sciatica pain. While rest may help, other treatments such as medications like muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories, steroid injections, and physical therapy are likely necessary. Fortunately, surgery is only reserved for the most severe cases.

Myth 2: Sciatica is the result of leg issues.

Since sciatica does lead to leg pain, some people believe it's caused by problems in their legs. The reality, however, is that sciatica is rarely caused by the legs. It often arises due to a condition in the spine such as spinal stenosis, spinal tumors, injury to the sciatic nerve, or spondylolisthesis.

Myth 3: Sciatica pain will never go away.

While sciatica can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, patients don't have to live with it forever. There are a variety of conservative treatments that can help them find the relief they deserve. In the event these treatments deem ineffective, surgical procedures are an option for long-term pain improvement.

Myth 4: Sciatica can not cause permanent nerve damage.

Although permanent nerve damage rarely arises in patients with sciatica, it is a possibility. If you notice a loss in leg sensation or bowel or bladder incontinence, you may be at risk for this type of damage. It's a good idea to seek medical attention right away as you may have a more serious condition.

Myth 5: Sciatica will only get worse with exercise.

You may be tempted to stay away from physical activity if you're facing sciatica. Since inactivity for a long period of time can lead to weak back muscles that exacerbate the pain, it's important to exercise and engage in stretching exercises such as yoga on a regular basis.

If you have sciatica and are ready to find relief, don't hesitate to visit your doctor as soon as possible. Conservative treatments may be just what you need to get your life back.

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

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