Sciatica information is certainly not hard to find. However, depending on whom you talk to, or what you read, you will quickly find out that the true sciatica facts are under constant speculation, since the condition and its causes remain highly controversial.
This essay will help patients to put all their sources of research information in perspective. We will expose why some medical and corporate research may be skewed for the purposes of marketing a new product or service. Remember, healthcare is a business and care practitioners are in it to make money.
Most sciatica patients rely on their doctor as their main source of advice. This is a good idea, but just be sure to keep an objective view of your pain and the reasons why it may be occurring.
The traditional medical industry has long endorsed the Cartesian theory of structurally-induced sciatic nerve pain as the only type experienced by affected individuals. Meanwhile, the far more enlightened specialists in mindbody medicine see sciatica as yet another ischemic pain syndrome, created or perpetuated by a psychosomatic process.
Who do you believe?
Well, both sides are equally qualified and educated. Both sides are made up of some of the most brilliant minds in medicine. However, the back pain industry is economically motivated to propagate the medical myths, since their very means of making a living is threatened by the idea of psychosomatic sciatica. This gives the mindbody side a whole lot more credibility in my book, since they are not out to make a profit off people’s suffering.
Although the big corporations run widely publicized research projects, these clinical studies are typically little more than medically endorsed commercials for a particular drug or surgical procedure. It is hard to believe anything claimed by these corporations, since their economic interests surely come before the needs of their clients: aka suffering sciatica patients. This is proven every day as new health problems with sciatica drugs and procedures come to light. Dangers of addiction, problematic interactions, health risks and many other hazards are perpetrated against the average healthcare consumer, all in the name of the almighty dollar.
It makes me sick.
Now there is surely nothing wrong with making money from doing good for people. I have no complaint about the capitalistic nature of the medical industry. I just wish the information provided would be a touch more honest and realistic. Lying to consumers about the nature of why they have pain, in order to keep them enslaved in long-term care, is an ethical sin of epic proportions. Performing surgery upon a person who does not require it should be considered assault and battery, as well as attempted murder, in the eyes of the law. However, these are commonplace events in our modern medical system. In fact, I talk to patients every day who are the victims of these very same practices.
There are plenty of independent studies available showing the true nonstructural nature of many cases of sciatica and lower back pain, in general. These studies are not supported by the vast economic resources of the corporate medical juggernaut and rarely reach a layman audience.
Luckily, there have been some exceptions to this rule, including the popular works of such notable mindbody professionals as Dr. Andrew Weil and especially Dr. John Sarno. The books written by these authors have saved millions of patients from an unfair fate pronounced upon them by their trusted doctors: unneeded surgery, never-ending symptomatic treatment and continuing pain.
In summation, the goal of this article is simple. I just want to open your eyes to the fact that some recommendations for care come out of economic motivation more than out of actual need. Diagnosis is a subjective business and this subjectivity allows care providers great leeway in the advice they give and the treatments they recommend. Never forget this. It is knowledge which can save your life.