Sciatica is a term that is used frequently, but often it is misunderstood by the general public. Anyone who has experienced it knows well how excruciating the pain can be. Read below for answers to common questions about sciatica.
Q: What is sciatica?
A: Sciatica refers to leg pain that travels down the back or outside of the leg in the pathway of the sciatic nerve.
Q: What causes sciatica?
A: There are three main causes:
- 1. Herniated discs
- 2. Stenosis/Arthritis
- 3. Pelvic or sacroiliac problems (SI)
Q: Does it affect all ages?
A: It can. As an example, herniated discs generally occur in people under 50 years old, whereas stenosis generally occurs in folks older than 50. Pelvic and SI problems can occur in people of all ages.
Q: Will it go away on its own?
A: Often the pain of sciatica will resolve with activity modification, such as not sitting if it is a disc problem, or not walking much if it is due to stenosis.
Q: Once the pain goes away, am I “cured”?
A: If one has not learned the cause of the sciatica, and is given a program of proper exercises and activity guidelines by a physical therapist, it often will come back. Often these subsequent episodes are more intense and more difficult to resolve.
We would be happy to share more information with you about this very difficult yet common problem. Call us at 201-833-1333 to speak with one of our skilled sciatica specialists at Churchill Orthopedic Rehab.
By Stephen K. Churchill
Stephen Churchill founded Churchill Orthopedic Rehabilitation in 2003. He is a member of the Orthopedic section of the American Physical Therapy Association and has expertise in the treatment of orthopedic injuries, including shoulder, spine, foot/ankle and sports injuries.