Learn all you can about sciatica. This is my advice if you are to have any hope of recovering from back and leg pain of any significant severity or duration. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve structure in the entire human body and is implicated in a wide range of painful symptomatic complaints in the lower back, buttocks, legs and feet. This condition is often referred to as sciatica and is known as a chronic, treatment-resistant and fearsome torture for any person to endure.
This article will impart a basic understanding of sciatica and provide the necessary tools for detailed research of your diagnosed condition.
Sciatica causes are as diverse as the people who suffer from the horrible pain. True sciatica is most commonly diagnosed as stemming from a spinal abnormality in the lumbar or sacral spinal regions.
The typical sources of spinal sciatica include osteoarthritic osteophyte formation enacting spinal stenosis or foraminal stenosis, herniated discs enacting spinal stenosis or foraminal stenosis, as well as spondylolisthesis or spinal curvature causing central or foraminal canal alignment issues.
Nonspinal anatomical causes include sacroiliac joint concerns, piriformis syndrome and traumatic injury to the sciatic nerve itself.
However, one of the most common sources of chronic sciatica is surely ischemia, which is described as an oxygen deprivation syndrome of the regional soft tissues, including the muscles and nerves. This process can enact true spinal sciatica when it targets the spinal nerves or pseudo-sciatica when it targets the localized nerves or muscles in the legs or feet.
Sciatica treatments must be matched up carefully to a correct diagnosis. If they do not correspond, the treatment will be sure to fail. Achieving an accurate diagnosis is often taken for granted, but I can assure you, based on experience with tens of thousands of patients, that this is the most difficult aspect of sciatica care.
If the diagnosis is correct, then subsequent therapy modalities have a good chance of curing the condition. If the diagnosis is not right, then treatments are doomed from the get go, creating the type of long lasting and recurrent pain which affects most sufferers.
We regularly advise patients that if they cannot find relief from a variety of treatment approaches, do not blame the therapies themselves. Instead, blame the diagnosis, since this is the factor almost sure to be at the heart of the problem.
I truly feel for all of you who continue to suffer day in and day out. I share your fate, being tormented by chronic pain each and every day of my life. I know how limiting chronic back pain can be and the general depression, anxiety and hardship it can cause. I am here to help. I want all of you to get well. I will never stop researching and investigating all our options as long as any of us are still afflicted.
That being said, I also advise you to learn all you can about your diagnosis and how you can find a cure. If your doctor is not helpful, get a second opinion. Most of all, never forget to do lots of independent research to learn all the facts of sciatica for yourself. Sometimes, the person who can help you the most is looking right back at you in the mirror. Take responsibility for your health and get involved in every level of your care.