9 informations méconnues sur la sciatique

Presse Santé

Separate the misconceptions about sciatica from the truth with this article. Sciatica is pain or numbness in any part of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower spine through the buttocks and down the back of the legs, caused by compression of the nerve. Sciatica pain can range from mild to excruciating, but in most cases it is self-limited, meaning it goes away on its own. Of course, as long as you suffer from it, you feel that it will never go away.

What are the common myths about sciatica? And what is the truth?

Myth 1: Sciatica is a condition or a diagnosis

Fact: People commonly call sciatica a condition or diagnosis, but it is actually a symptom that indicates something is irritating a nerve root in the lower back.
The important thing is to figure out what is causing the pressure on the nerve.

Myth 2: All leg pain can be classified as sciatica.

Those who suffer from it often think that any pain in the leg can be considered sciatica, but that is not true. Leg pain can be induced by vascular problems, muscle strains, cellulitis, or irritation of another nerve, such as the femoral nerve, which would cause pain in the front of the leg. A true sciatica symptom extends from the middle of the buttock down the back of the leg, usually past the knee and up the calf.

Myth 3: We don’t know what causes sciatica

Fact: Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched or compressed, which is usually caused by a bulging or herniated disc between the vertebrae in the lower spine. It can also be caused by a bone spur, or bony growth, in the spine itself or by spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal. In rare cases, a spinal tumor can compress the nerve, causing sciatic pain.

Myth 4: A specific event causes sciatica

Fact: People often think that if they don’t lift a suitcase, sit on a long flight, or help a friend move, they won’t have pain. Most of the time, the intervertebral disc has a small defect and is about to rupture, and sciatica is not necessarily caused by this specific event. Most people have single or occasionally repeated episodes of sciatica. It’s important when it happens, but it’s usually a minor part of their lives. While a specific event doesn’t necessarily lead to sciatica, some jobs can. One study found that physically demanding work is a significant risk factor for sciatica. Among men, jobs associated with higher risk included metalworking, machinery, and other industrial jobs. Among women, the risk was higher among nurses, shop assistants, and industrial workers.

Myth 5: If you have sciatica, you should stay in bed and rest.

Fact: Most patients do better if they stay active and avoid excessive rest. Numerous studies have shown that people with sciatica have little or no benefit from staying in bed compared to being active.

Myth 6: Medicines are the best way to relieve sciatica.

Fact: You might think that taking a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory might relieve sciatica pain, but in fact, a systematic review and meta-analysis found a lack of evidence on the effectiveness of medications such as NSAIDs, corticosteroids, antidepressants, and opioid analgesics. . At best, there is low-quality evidence to judge the effectiveness and safety of drugs commonly prescribed for the treatment of sciatica in primary care.

However, short-term treatment with an anti-inflammatory may be helpful for some people. For people whose severe and persistent symptoms do not respond to pain medications or do not improve with activity modification, another treatment option is epidural steroid injections—injections into the epidural space around the spinal cord. But epidural steroid injections are usually indicated for acute radiculopathy. [racine nerveuse pincée]. They are generally not helpful in cases of chronic sciatica.

Myth 7: Surgery is the only way to truly cure sciatica

Fact: Most cases of sciatica go away in about six weeks and do not require surgery. Other treatments, such as physical therapy and epidural injections, may be helpful. But if these treatments fail or, in rare cases, if you experience severe weakness, numbness, or pain, surgery can significantly and permanently improve sciatic pain.

Myth 8: Sometimes nothing helps sciatica

Sometimes patients worry that there is no cure or that nothing can be done to improve their symptoms. Fortunately, very high-quality scientific studies have repeatedly shown that most symptoms improve and, if necessary, surgery is very effective.

Myth 9: Sciatica cannot be avoided

Fact: It’s not possible to prevent all cases of sciatica, but staying active and using proper form during activities can go a long way toward reducing the incidence and recurrence of low back pain. Additionally, maintaining a strong core—that is, strengthening the muscles in your abdomen and back—can also help prevent recurrences of sciatica. Pilates is great for strengthening your core and can be adapted for many health issues, including sciatica. Finally, sciatica can be prevented by practicing good posture, minimizing sitting, managing weight, maintaining good hamstring flexibility, and maintaining proper spinal alignment.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information provided can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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