Recovering from sciatica is a dream for many patients who are afflicted by chronic back and leg pain conditions. Sciatica, like many other forms of back pain, can become a relentless problematic health crisis for anyone unlucky enough to endure constant or recurrent symptoms. While the condition itself is usually manageable, the ability to permanently cure the pain often eludes patients due to many possible reasons.
This article seeks to highlight many of the possible explanations for why sciatica may endure despite treatment. Furthermore, we will suggest some ways that patients might be able to increase their chances of attaining a true and enduring recovery.
Statistics show that patients who suffer from serious neck or back pain for more than 6 to 12 months will generally have a greater chance of continuing to fall victim to their pain for life, than they do of ever truly feeling 100% better. Terrifying! Most of these poor people try a wide range of seemingly indicated sciatica treatment modalities, but find little more than temporary or partial relief, if any at all. This is due to 2 main reasons:
First off, the majority of sciatica patients are diagnosed as having pain due to some lower spinal causation. While this might be the case for some people who do demonstrate pathological disc and bone issues, the majority of lumbar abnormalities are incidental to symptoms. This has been proven multiple ways in research science. This iatrogenic misdiagnosis of the actual source of pain keeps many patients searching in vain for a treatment which will work. Of course the treatments fail; they are attempting to resolve a condition which is not the real source of pain.
Secondly, even if the diagnosis is correct, the majority of therapy options are not even designed to cure anything. They are merely symptomatic treatments, which keep the patient under the care of a doctor for the long term, while healing, curing or resolving nothing at all. All they accomplish is pain management and nothing more. Well, that is not entirely correct. They do make many doctors incredibly rich, so I guess that counts for something.
If your pain has resisted appropriate treatments and has continued despite your best efforts to end it, there is a good chance that the underlying cause of your pain has been misidentified. I generally advise patients with this scenario to investigate the idea that another source process might be responsible for their pain. Sure, lumbar herniated discs and arthritis can cause sciatica, when definitive nerve compression or chemical irritation occurs. However, this is not observed or documented in most diagnosed patients.
Another possible causative explanation is higher level spinal stenosis in the neck or middle back. Some diseases, like diabetes, can enact sciatica. Piriformis issues and sacroiliac joint concerns might cause pseudo-sciatica. Even simple regional oxygen deprivation can cause dire and chronic symptoms.
The point to remember here is that just because a diagnostic verdict has been proposed, does not make it correct until it is verified to be accurate through testing, symptom correlation and complete neurological evaluation. Anything short of this exhaustive process has a tendency to produce inaccurate diagnostic conclusions which lead to the failed treatments we see so often.
Recovery from any chronic pain condition takes commitment and in the case of sciatica, you must commit to becoming active in your own care.
Do not sit back idly, while your destiny is decided for you. Take charge of your life and be proactive in your treatment regimen. This is true regardless of what therapy path you follow.
I have endured decades of battling lower back pain and sciatic nerve pain, since I was led around blindly by my caregivers. Several of these professionals were obviously in it for the money alone and the rest were simply mistaken about the true nature of my pain.
I get letters from tens of thousands of patients a year with identical and equally sad stories. Do not be a pawn to your doctor or chiropractor. Look to cure you pain by understanding it, not fearing it or avoiding it. There is almost always a cure. You simply have to want to find it bad enough to consider every possible source, mind and body.