Are your sciatica symptoms, like searing pain in your calf or numbness in your foot, acting up? These two truths can help you make informed decisions when it comes to treating your sciatica:

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There are many myths about sciatica that may prevent patients from determining the causes and the best course of treatment. See Myths About Sciatica Treatment Options

1. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan

Sciatica is not a medical diagnosis, but rather a symptom of an underlying medical disorder. The six most common causes of sciatica are all problems related to your lower back, such as a lumbar herniated disc and degenerative disc disease.

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Because there are numerous possible causes of your sciatica, your treatment options may vary significantly from another person. This means that you cannot simply adopt a treatment plan that worked for a friend or family member.

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As a general rule, you should not attempt to self-treat your sciatica symptoms before consulting with your doctor—as she or he can provide a proper diagnosis and then propose an appropriate treatment plan.

See The Truth About Sciatica


2. Exercise is typically an essential component of any treatment plan

If you’re like most people, you find it difficult to keep active after a severe flare-up of sciatica. But the truth is that prolonged inactivity can make your sciatic pain worse. For example, if you avoid proper exercise your lower back muscles can become deconditioned, which in turn may place additional stress around the location of your sciatic nerve roots.

Most people who suffer from sciatica can benefit from an exercise program that incorporates stretching, strengthening, and low-impact aerobic exercises. Additionally, it’s important to keep up your exercise routine after your symptoms have dissipated to avoid future flare-ups.

See Hamstring Stretching Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief

As mentioned above, do not begin an exercise treatment plan before consulting with your doctor—as the types of exercises you should perform are dependent in part on the underlying cause of your symptoms.

See Sciatica Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief

I hope both of the above truths will help you, in consultation with your doctor, form an effective treatment plan to combat your sciatica symptoms.

Watch: Sciatica Treatment Video

Learn more:

What You Need to Know About Sciatica

Types of Sciatic Nerve Pain