Sciatica help is a touchy topic for me, since so many patients write to us asking for help, but it is quite obvious that they are not doing anything constructive at all to help themselves. Now, don’t get me wrong; we are here to help. This is always our promise to you. However, I also stand by the words which I myself live by, which are: Help comes to those who help themselves.
The meaning of this, in terms of sciatica treatment, is of course, that patients need to be proactive in their quest for a cure and not simply expect others to solve the problem for them. Taking part in the entire process of diagnosis, therapy and hopefully, symptomatic resolution, should be a priority from day one for any patient with a significant lower back and leg pain complaint. This article provides guidance on how to do it.
The most reliable type of help for any health issue is certainly self-help. You will not fail yourself ever, unless you stop trying. How many other people will never fail you? Not many.
Here are some pointers about how to help yourself find lasting sciatica relief:
Get involved in your care by interacting with your doctor. Ask questions. Demand answers. Make sure these answers make sense. If they do not, find a new doctor.
Do lots of independent research. Learn all you can about your suspected diagnosis, as well as other conditions which may explain your pain.
If you do not find relief from your sciatica symptoms, despite active treatment, do not blame the care provider. Instead, question the accuracy of the diagnosis. This is where the problem virtually always lies.
Do not acquiesce to surgery prematurely, unless it is an emergency. Surgery can do more harm than good and should only be used in the most extreme circumstances.
There are also ways of making more out of the help you are getting. Here are some tips about dealing with your doctor:
First off, find a good quality doctor. Not all are created equal. Some are truly awful, greedy and care as much about you as the garbage they threw out last night. Yes, this is a critical attitude, but it is also the truth. There are lots of great doctors who actually want to help. Go get one for yourself.
Next, be sure that your doctor performs all the needed tests to verify the accuracy of a diagnostic theory. If your GP or chiropractor simply looks at you and determines you have a herniated disc or other spinal abnormality without diagnostic testing, my advice would be to seek treatment elsewhere. They may be right, but this is still the absolute wrong way to handle patient care. Speculation and assumption can only lead to big problems.
Do not be afraid to seek second or third opinions, even if you have to pay for these consultations yourself. You will be surprised how different doctors will say different things based on the exact same physical characteristics of a pain syndrome.
I am not telling you anything you already do not know here. I am just reiterating the crucial aspects of the care plan which many patients forget, due to their pain and frustration.
Get involved. Fight for yourself. Do not be passive, but instead, become active in your care. After all, the success or failure of the treatment will affect you the most. You have the most to lose and you have the most to gain.
If you do need help, you can always contact us. Maybe we can point you in the right direction. Just be sure to have enough information available to help us to help you. If you simply write to tell us saying: "My lower back and leg hurts. What should I do?" You are not likely to receive an answer which will serve you well. Now if you can detail the exact nature and location of the pain and provide diagnostic imaging reports, we might be able to get you on the right path to a cure in no time at all.