Lies and myths about sciatica

Ana Serrano By: Ana Serrano

MYTH 1: “You can cure sciatica with anti-inflammatory medicines”

FACT: Anti-inflammatories and pain relievers are often very prescribed to relieve the discomfort of sciatica. But in reality they are only attacking the pain and not the cause of the sciatica, so the inconvenience will sooner or later return.

MYTH 2: “If there is pain in the back of the leg or any of the ‘classic’ symptoms of sciatica, it is definitely sciatica”

FACT: Many times, any lumbar area structure that becomes inflamed or irritated produces symptoms similar to those of sciatica but is not necessarily sciatic. The list of conditions that can be is wide, could be pyramidal syndrome, trigger points on the muscles of the buttocks, involvement of ligaments and vessels, disc protrusions, joint wear, etc.

MYTH 3: “The cause of sciatica is only herniated disc”

FACT: Although, a high percentage of cases of sciatica are caused by a herniated disc, there are other causes that can cause sciatica: narrowing of the vertebral canal (stenosis), narrowing of the holes through which the nerves of the spine leave, due to a degenerative process and bad daily habits such as bad postures, spending a lot of time sitting or lack of exercise.

MYTH 4: “Sciatica can be cured in a few days”

FACT: If the sciatic nerve has undergone compression or is inflamed, you may NOT feel pain immediately. It may take time for symptoms to be perceived or to notice that the nerve is irritated. But, the longer the nerve has been injured, the longer the recovery process will be.

MYTH 5: “Sciatic pain only hits one leg, NOT both.”

FACT: The most common is that the pain occurs in one of the legs, but there are cases in which the pain or discomfort is felt in both legs because the condition get worse. When this happens, you should seek medical attention immediately.

MYTH 6: “The only way to relieve sciatica is with surgery”

FACT: The percentage of patients with sciatica who have had to opt for surgery to relieve themselves is very low. The cases that require surgery are those in which the pain is so strong that don’t let the patient doing their daily activities or when the patient has no longer  control to urinate.

MYTH 7: “Sciatica is relieved with rest”

FACT: It is recommended that you rest for a few days, but there is no way for sciatic pain to heal with rest. In fact, the most advisable thing is to perform some physical activity that helps stretch the sciatic nerve.

MYTH 8: “A mismatch of the vertebrae is what causes sciatica”

FACT: A mismatch in the spine can cause inflammation of the nerves. But sciatica can be caused by mismatches in the pelvis, sacrum or a combination of mismatches.

MYTH 9: “Decompression is the best method to relieve sciatica”

Decompression beds do not work exclusively in the damaged area and stretch the weakest muscles, so tense or inflamed areas are not treated in their entirety. In addition, stretching of weak muscles can cause hypermobility with negative consequences for the spine..

MYTH 10: “Sciatica can be cured with home remedies”

FACT: Natural remedies are very useful to relieve pain momentarily but are not able to alleviate the FACT cause caused by sciatica. You can use home remedies as a complement to other methods such as massage, chiropractic or specialized methods of self-gravitation to help relieve discomfort and avoid unnecessary surgery.

Ana Serrano
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Ana Serrano