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4 Myths About Sciatica

April 9, 2023
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Most adults in the U.S. have heard of the term “sciatica.” Unfortunately, due to endless and often incorrect information found on the internet, many people use the term loosely and consider it an illness. Sciatica is actually a group of symptoms often caused by a spinal condition that can manifest in many ways, including pain and numbness in the lower back and legs.

There are many conditions and injuries that can cause sciatica. Some are more severe than others, but as a condition, sciatica can often be treated at sports rehab clinics like Denville Medical. To help further educate and clarify misconceptions about sciatica, let’s take a look at some general myths surrounding this common, albeit debilitating symptom.

Myth 1: Surgical Procedures Are the Only Solutions for Sciatica

At Denville Medical, our mission is to help as many people as possible avoid unnecessary surgery and medication by promoting natural healing in order to reach maximum medical improvement. We apply this approach to sciatica, too, because surgery is often the last step you should take for long-term sciatic relief. You’re probably wondering, “How can sciatica be treated non-surgically?” The answer to that question will change depending on the patient.

If you have been feeling the symptoms of sciatica for a few days, you can often get relief by stretching, taking anti-inflammatory meds, or using cold/hot packs. If you have experienced stabbing lower back pain for several weeks, a combination of treatments such as chiropractic care, physical therapy, and acupuncture may be best.

Myth 2: Only Overweight and Sedentary People Get Sciatica

Some people believe that only non-active, overweight people suffer from sciatica because they don’t exercise or take care of their bodies. In reality, anyone can feel the effects of sciatica – even the healthiest, most athletic people in the world. While it’s true that being obese is a risk factor for sciatica as it puts more pressure on the spine, vigorous bouts of exercising or athletic activities can cause back injuries. Back injuries like herniated discs are known to cause long-term symptoms like sciatica.

Myth 3: Any Type of Stabbing Leg Pain is Sciatica

People interpret sciatica in different ways. During their initial exam, some patients point to their lower back or thigh to let our doctors know that’s where they feel pain. However, shooting pain down the back of your leg doesn’t always come from a compressed region in your back. Other issues, like injuries and lifestyle choices, may cause shooting leg pain. If you are concerned you have sciatica because of leg pain, it’s best to get checked out to be sure. At Denville Medical, our sports rehab professionals and medical doctors can narrow down the source of your leg pain and provide a non-surgical solution for pain relief.

Myth 4: You Can’t Stay in Shape When You Have Sciatica

It makes sense that exercising and staying in shape can be more difficult when you suffer from sciatica. If you’re familiar with sciatica pain, putting in a full session of cardio might sound terrible because of symptoms like intense lower back pain or numbness in your feet and legs. But having sciatica doesn’t mean you have to give up on your fitness routine. Before giving up on staying in shape, be sure to consult with a medical professional first. Many patients at Denville Medical are able to continue their fitness regimen by making tweaks and adjustments until pain relief is addressed.

Sciatica Relief Is in Sight at Denville Medical

At Denville Medical, our doctors and physical therapy specialists take a comprehensive, holistic approach to treating sciatica – one that relies on exercise, chiropractic care, physical therapy, acupuncture and in some cases, spinal injections. We will do everything in our power to help you avoid the risks and recovery time associated with surgery. Unlike many medical and sports rehabilitation centers, we provide notable care under one roof, allowing providers of different service lines to effectively communicate and easily customize your sciatica treatment plan.

If you’re suffering from symptoms like numbness, tingling, or shooting leg pain, and you suspect it could be due to sciatica, our team can help. Contact Denville Medical today to schedule your initial consultation.

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