3 Big Mistakes Sciatica Sufferers Make

1. Pain Medications: I am in no way anti-pain medication to control pain, BUT:

If you are doing things that are typically painful without medication, you can be doing more damage with realizing it. The pain medication is masking the pain, therefore, you are tolerating things that may be doing more damage to your injured, compressed and compromised area. Depending on medication to function is dangerous in this regard, so please be cautious with overdoing it while on pain medications so you do not do more harm!

2. Brace or Wraps: I am NOT against Braces for helping with pain, BUT:

IF you are depending on a brace to maintain stability and avoid pain, this can cause overall muscle weakness and further complicate the issue. Depending on the brace for stability and function, will cause muscles that typically should be stabilizing to weaken, which will make full recovery more difficult. The weakness causes the muscle to lose their normal ability to stabilize as they should, which will lead to further dependence on the brace.

3. Exercises: As a Physical Therapist I am definitely NOT against exercises, BUT:

IF exercises aggravate or stress the sciatic nerve, or other tissues that are aggravated, you are are probably doing the the wrong exercise! MOST people try to stretch out their painful buttocks or hamstring, thinking the pain needs to be “pulled out” and relaxed by exercises. But, if you think of it as an irritated tissue (nerve, tendon, muscle) then you can see how pulling on it or irritating it further, may not make sense when trying to heal. Wouldn’t it seem that working the painful tissue will only make it more irritated.

There you have three of the biggest mistakes I see people with sciatica make as they try to remain active and push through their symptoms.

If you’re suffering with sciatica pain (or you know someone who is) we can help! Start by requesting a free telephone consultation with an expert by clicking this button:

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Dean Volk PT, MPT
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