Myths abound, when it comes to physical health. It’s always been that way, with folk knowledge sometimes being taken as seriously as medical knowledge.
Perhaps such conflation is sometimes appropriate but we’re going to talk about busting sciatica myths and what some of the most common of those are.
Sciatica is a highly treatable condition, caused by the inflammation of the sciatic nerve. Running from the lower back through the hips and legs, the nerve’s two prongs run down the back of each leg as far as the toes. When there’s dysfunction in the spine, or inflammation in nearby soft tissue, sciatic pain can result.
Let’s do some myth-busting!
It’s a Leg Problem
This common myth is directly related to the manifestation of sciatic pain.
Because of the location of the nerve pain, numbness and weakness are experienced in the buttocks and the back of the legs. These sensations may be felt as far down the body as the toes.
So, while the pain is in the lower extremities, the source is not. Sciatica happens because of spinal anomalies like degenerating discs, spinal stenosis, other abnormalities and trauma to the lower back or sciatic nerve.
It’s a Pain In the Butt
In my experience of treating sciatica patients what’s clear is that sometimes, sciatica can (quite literally) be a pain in the butt.
But the pain is rarely localized solely to the gluteal region. As I’ve said above, pain can reach as far as the toes. While sciatic pain is usually experienced on one side of the body, its reach is governed by the sciatic nerve itself and that nerve is very long.
This means that pain may radiate all the way down the affected leg (the length of this, the largest nerve in the human body).
It’s a Permanent Concern
While it’s true that there are patients who struggle with episodic (occasional, ongoing) sciatica, it’s not the case that sciatica is a permanent cross to bear – another reason why visiting a doctor if you’re experiencing sciatica is important.
Sciatic pain is telling you something’s wrong, so finding out what that is, is crucial to ridding yourself of it. This may only be achieved by a doctor.
Once the underlying cause of sciatica is addressed, treatment usually resolves the condition.
And while it’s true that some cases of sciatica resolve on their own, wouldn’t you prefer a clean bill of health?
The truth is that there’s no reason to live with sciatic pain. Seek a diagnosis and then, come see us at Back & Body Medical to take your journey back to total wellness.
Back & Body Medical
People experiencing sciatic pain find support at Back & Body Medical in the heart of Manhattan.
Here, we practice multi-disciplinarian care that’s patient-centered and individualized to deliver effective pain relief.
Working in close collaboration, we’re a team of chiropractic, sports medicine, physical therapy and acupuncture clinicians who find the solution that’s right for you. With a team like this on your side, you know your sciatic pain doesn’t stand a chance.