Sciatica fear is a huge factor in the expressions of this epidemic neuropathy syndrome. Many cases of chronic sciatica are either caused, worsened or perpetuated by psychoemotional issues, despite the many spinal causes which exist and the structural scapegoats typically unfairly blamed for causing pain. Fear is a major part of the condition and is one of the main reasons why so many patients never truly recover.
This mindbody article topic discusses the role of fear in sciatica patients. We will explore how almost every person with chronic symptoms experiences fear, which in turn, exacerbates the nerve pain condition.
Sciatica Fear of Injury
Let’s begin out by acknowledging the patients who experience pain from an injury. This is common and an injury can cause severe back pain and sciatica. However, injuries will heal. The body is designed to repair itself and this is one of the most efficient processes in the entire human anatomy. Given proper care and time, typical injuries to the back and spine will resolve in a matter of several weeks to a few months time. There is simply no reasonable explanation why a person would demonstrate ongoing pain from an injury for years, or even an entire lifetime, unless that injury was catastrophic.
The reason for continuing sciatica symptoms has much more to do with the nocebo effect of the diagnostic process. Doctors sometimes warn the patient that they are permanently damaged and must be careful in all they do. This advice might be given out of concern, but displays a fundamental lack of understanding how these words can enact a chronic pain syndrome.
This advice might also be provided in an effort to enslave the patient into a long-term and highly profitable treatment regimen. This is the case with the many back pain treatment mills which have thankfully become prime targets for prosecution by law enforcement agencies. Regardless, these warnings are taken deeply to heart and are often reinforced by caring family and friends who only want the best for the injured person: Be careful with your back!
These words repeated ad nauseum will certainly produce the beginning of sciatica fear and frustration, since the patient can not live a full life and will really consider themselves to be irreparably damaged goods.
Fear of Spinal Degeneration
If there is no obvious injury present, most sciatica symptoms will be linked to some degenerative process in the spine. This might be a herniated disc or the laughably named degenerative disc disease. Maybe it is spinal osteoarthritis or one of its specifically named effects, such as bone spur growth or facet joint syndrome, which suffers the blame.
Spinal degeneration is normal, expected and universal. You have it. I have it. Your doctor has it. Non-pathological degenerative changes have often been vilified by the medical establishment as scapegoats used to explain otherwise idiopathic dorsopathy conditions, such as sciatica. Once again, the fear comes into play due to the diagnostic process and the subsequent warnings to be careful, or else.
Sciatica Fear Cycle
Most chronic sciatica concerns are the result of the complex interactions between the mind and body. The pain may be enacted by an anatomical process or simply to serve some psychological imperative. When the pain is generated by the mind, perpetuated by the mind or escalated by the mind, the anatomical source process becomes secondary. This is the reason why most patients do not get better.
Doctors might treat the structural concerns, but since fear has already taken hold and continued the pain, symptoms endure despite the structural process already being healed or resolved with treatment.
Fear is pervasive and has an exponential effect on pain. As the fear grows, the pain will also grow tremendously. The longer the pain endures, the more ingrained the fear becomes. The deeper the fear permeates into the heart and mind, the less the chances of ever finding a cure for the pain. It is a vicious cycle.
Overcome the fear and find out the facts about sciatica. The body is designed to heal and normal spinal degeneration should not cause chronic pain, if any at all. Lose the myths and accept the facts. This is my personal advice for those of you who have tried everything to beat their sciatica pain, but have simply not been successful. Consider questioning your diagnosis. This is where the answer almost always resides.
My book, The Power of Fear, goes beyond sciatica and details the full scope of fear’s consequences on overall health and wellness. You can find the book as part of our comprehensive and peer-respected Cure Back Pain Forever Program.