The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest body nerve. It starts in your lower back through your buttocks, goes down to each of your legs, and ends below your knees. Sciatica develops when this nerve is irritated or compressed. Arthritis, bone spurs, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis are some causes of sciatica. Common sciatica symptoms include pain in any section of your sciatic nerve, leg numbness, feet tingling, and loss of bowel or bladder control. If you experience bowel or bladder control loss and leg numbness, consult your specialist, Dr. Ioannis Skaribas Houston immediately. People associate sciatica with many myths and misconceptions and below are some.
Exercise worsens sciatica
Rest can help ease sciatica, but prolonged inactivity can weaken your back muscles, worsening your pain. You may find it challenging to do physical activities while experiencing sciatica pain, but mild exercises can help ease the discomfort. Exercise increases your range of motion and strengthens your muscles. Your doctor can create an exercise program suitable for your condition.
Sciatica heals independently after rest
Most people assume rest help alleviate your sciatica pain. It can help reduce pain, but you may have to combine it with other therapies for effective healing. Your doctor may recommend you combine rest with medications like muscle relaxants or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and physical therapy. If your sciatica pain is severe, your doctor can recommend surgery.
Sciatica cannot cause permanent nerve damage
Although nerve damage is rare in sciatica, it may happen in some patients. You may be at a higher risk of nerve damage if your sciatica pain is accompanied by loss of leg sensation or bladder and bowel control incontinence. Patients with these symptoms require immediate care. Delayed treatment can lead to nerve damage and other complications.
Sciatica pain never goes away
People think sciatica pain never disappears because it causes extreme pain in some individuals. Sciatica is treatable. Depending on your symptoms and severity, your doctor can recommend medications, physical therapy, hands-on therapies, or steroid injections. Surgery may be beneficial if you have severe persistent pain, loss of bladder or bowel control, or tingling and numbness in your legs.
The cause of sciatica is unknown
There are many factors that can lead to sciatica. Sciatica develops when your sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed. A herniated disc is the leading cause of sciatica. Bone spurs or bone growths on your spine or narrowing of your spinal canal can also cause sciatica. Spinal tumors can compress on the sciatic nerve leading to sciatica, which happens in rare cases.
If you experience leg pain or numbness, that must be sciatica
Leg pain, numbness, weakness, or tingling are not always sciatica symptoms. Vein disorders, muscle strains, joint issues, and nerve-related problems can also cause these symptoms. The fact is, sciatica causes pain in your legs, which mostly radiates from your mid-buttock. Leg pain can also go past your knee down to your calf.
Your doctor can help you manage sciatica through medications, physical therapy, steroid injections, or surgery. Schedule an appointment at Expert Pain for sciatica treatment to alleviate your lower back pain and leg numbness.