Are you, or is someone that you love, one of many that suffer from sciatica? In either case, it’s great to be armed with knowledge about what causes it, how it can be improved or worsened, and the best ways that the symptoms can be addressed.
How well do you know if you have sciatica? See how well you do answering the following True or False questions:
1. Everyone experiences essentially the same symptoms of sciatica.
If you suffer from sciatica, you might experience symptoms in your thigh, calf, lower back, foot or toes. Some report that they experience sharp, searing pains, while others experience tingling sensations, burning or numbness. Your symptoms are determined, in part, by the location of the compressed or irritated sciatic nerve root.
2. Sciatica is not a medical diagnosis.
While sciatica describes a symptom of an underlying medical condition, it cannot actually be your medical diagnosis. The term refers to pain, tingling, numbness or weakness that begins in your lower back and travels along the sciatic nerve located in your leg. You’ll start to experience symptoms when one or more of your sciatic nerves are pinched or irritated.
3. If I have sciatica, I should avoid exercising.
When symptoms flare up, you might instinctively think that avoiding exercise is the best course of action in order to deal with the pain and discomfort. While this may be true for the first couple of days when you are experiencing extreme pain, remaining sentient for too long can actually agitate your symptoms even further. Speak with your doctor about when he or she believes that you should start adding physical activity back into your routine.
4. If I experience symptoms, I will need surgery to treat them.
It’s rare that someone beginning to experience symptoms will need immediate surgery. Both surgical and nonsurgical approaches are common for patients with sciatica; both produce results.