Sciatica and headaches are not generally related structurally, but certainly may share a common mindbody link in many cases. There are also a few highly specific circumstances which may entail a purely anatomical link between the two symptomatic expressions.
A great number of patients with chronic sciatica also suffer from one or more mindbody pain syndromes in addition to their lower back and leg pain. The most common of these psychologically-induced conditions include gastrointestinal disorders, fibromyalgia, TMJ, carpal tunnel syndrome, and of course, various forms of headaches. In other less common scenarios, there may be a cervical spinal issue which is directly responsible for both types of symptoms.
This article will explore all the possible relationships between the incidence of headaches and the occurrence of sciatic nerve symptoms. We will cover the physical and emotional associations between these two very common patient complaints.
Link Between Headaches and Sciatica
In the case of traumatic upper spinal injury affecting the cervical region, a common symptomatic link may exist. Cases of severe spinal stenosis which actually affect the integrity of the spinal cord may create lower body symptoms, such as sciatica, and may also enact headaches, especially in the rear lower aspects of the skull.
Likewise, patients who have endured treatment for lower back pain issues involving a lumbar puncture or epidural injection may still have sciatica and may have developed headaches as a result of a continuing cerebral spinal fluid leak from their procedure.
Besides spinal enactment of both symptoms, the two conditions may also be sourced from a disease process, so thorough health screening should always be completed to ensure that no dire disorders exist.
Psychogenic Sciatica and Headaches
Sciatica which does not resolve on its own, or with appropriate treatment, is quite often linked to the ischemic process. This oxygen deprivation syndrome is known to be created purposefully by the subconscious mind and can keep pain going for years, decades or even lifelong.
Headaches are also known to be caused by ischemia, but this time, the oxygen deprivation takes place in the brain, in the case of migraines, or in the muscles of the scalp and neck, in the case of tension headaches. It is no coincidence that many patients get headaches and back pain, since both can be different symptomatic expressions of the very same psychosomatic causative syndrome.
Unfortunately, while almost everyone is aware that emotional stress can and does cause headaches, very few patients consider their sciatica to be a result of this same core process. For patients who want to learn more, there is a tremendous amount of material provided on this site governing mindbody medicine. You can use the site search function in the right column to find all of it for your research needs.
Overcoming Sciatica and Headaches
Do not discount the role played by the mind in any chronic pain concerns. The mind and body work together to create all conditions of health and disease we enjoy or suffer from. While an anatomical relationship between headaches and sciatica may exist in a few patients, the majority are obviously related simply through the mindbody processes which enact both painful complaints.
To resolve these types of combination back and head pain syndromes, I highly recommend learning more about knowledge therapy. There are no risks, no costs and nothing to lose but your pain. I personally recommend this path, as it is instrumental to providing a foundation for my own recovery from decades of debilitating back and sciatica suffering.