Sciatica comes to us one day suddenly and, in addition to being very sore, we are in a situation of uncertainty. We do not know if the pain will be taken away from us and we do not know what to do. Then we go to the internet or talk to the neighbor and we get worse. They tell us about the curse of the herniated disc and we find ourselves entering the operating room. In this post I want to summarize the way to continue putting links to some posts that explain it.
Is it really sciatica?
The first thing to see is if it really is sciatica. When we have a pain in the leg one of the things that tell us or comes to mind is sciatica, but there are many other possibilities. Therefore, when we have an illness, it is always advisable a medical assessment to guide the diagnosis.
Sciatica is an electric pain that goes down the leg and is caused by the pinching of a nerve root coming out of the lumbar spine. Usually it is a herniated disc that clings to the nerve but in a few occasions the cause will be another. There are a number of maneuvers that doctors perform to check for sciatica, the best known of Lasègue’s maneuver . In the post of the link I explain what is the maneuver and the difference between a sciatica and sciatic pain without sciatica.
I know it’s sciatica, now what?
Once we know that we have sciatica and that it is probably a hernia, now what? Fortunately most of the time the injury tends to cure on its own, that is, without having to do anything special. Our body has its mechanisms to heal wounds and the herniated disc is no different. In a post I talk about the normal evolution of sciatica (I leave the link).
There are some occasions that, despite tending to cure, we have to act because a complication is occurring. In a post I talk about the complications that can occur when we have sciatica (I leave the link). In other words while we wait for our body to heal, we have to watch that we do not have a complication. Within the complications, the most frequent are the loss of strength in the leg. That is why the tip and heel test gives us a lot of information to control the evolution. In the post of the link I explain in depth.
During the recovery phase in which we still have sciatica, the usual treatment will be with medication to relieve pain. There are still doctors, especially of “old school”, who recommend absolute rest in bed. In the post of the link I explain how nowadays it is known that it is not a good recommendation.
If we have uncomplicated sciatica, we will have prescribed medication for the pain and we will make the life we can as our body heals. When the weeks pass and nothing changes we are left with doubts. Will I have to operate on the hernia? In the post of the link I explain in depth, but basically if there are not the complications that we mentioned before, surgery is not essential. If the pain lasts for months and the sciatica is not removed, then it may become advisable. It is basically the complications that can precipitate a preferential surgery.
The idea of this post is that everyone can be evaluated and know in what situation is when suffering from sciatica. Many of the comments made in the posts revolve around this and I wanted to leave this scheme for something more clearly. It is very important the medical evaluation but not less important is that we each take the reins of our life and be consistent with our decisions.
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