1. Sciatica refers to a set of symptoms
Sciatica is not a condition or diagnosis. The term sciatica refers to a number of symptoms which help lead to a diagnosis. The most common of these symptoms is leg pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness. These symptoms usually affect one leg at a time.
2. Sciatica is well-known, but rare
Many conditions can present the cluster of symptoms that is sciatica. The symptoms of leg pain, tingling, and weakness can be mimicked by piriformis syndrome, hip osteoarthritis, or sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
3. Treating Sciatica Depends on the Underlying Condition
The variety of conditions that can cause sciatic pain makes it essential to accurately diagnose the underlying cause before beginning treatment. Depending on whether sciatica is caused by muscle tightness, disc degeneration, or an anomaly of the hips or spine, the treatment could include physical therapy or interventional pain management.
4. Sciatica Usually Responds Well to Treatment
Once the underlying condition is identified, the symptoms of sciatica usually react favorably to medical treatment without long-term complications. In some cases simple therapy, rest, and rehabilitation will provide long-term relief. In cases of extreme pain, minimally-invasive treatments can help allay severe weakness or numbness.
5. Exercise is Better than Rest
Pain, numbness, and discomfort in your back, hips, and legs may make you inclined to recline – to rest until you feel better. In the cases of sciatica, experts recommend following a structured exercise routine to manage the symptoms and prevent them from returning. Exercise can help correct imbalances and keep joints and spinal discs nourished and flexible.