A quick question for you: Have you ever sprained your ankle slightly? Maybe you rolled it when out walking one day – a really common injury. How long did it take to get better?
Now, have you ever “tweaked” or “pulled” something in your back? How long did THAT take to get better?
My money is on the back problem sticking around for FAR longer than the ankle problem ever did. And sadly, I hear this story all the time. Someone pulls their back one day or develops some sciatica nerve pain, and thinks it will go away on its own just like an ankle problem or calf strain did a few years ago.
But it doesn’t. And not only does it not go away, it actually feels like it’s getting worse.
So why is that?
I want to talk to you today about why sciatica lasts so long – and what you can do to help it go away faster!
Before we dive in, please be aware that we are part of the Amazon Affiliate programme. This page may contain Amazon affiliate links, so if you choose to purchase a product for your sciatica that we recommend through a link on this page, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us keep Overcome Sciatica alive! Thank you for your support. Please be assured that we only ever recommend products that we truly believe can help.
Why Does Sciatica Last So Long?
The first thing to realise if you are currently suffering from persistent sciatica is: you are not alone!
In fact, sciatica usually goes on for longer than it should for most people. The truth is, most aren’t aware of the right way to go about relieving sciatica and they let it get so bad that they are struggling to walk, work or spend time with their friends by the time they ask for some help!
The second thing to realise is that sciatica can sometimes be a bit of a mystery. Let me explain…
When you sprain your ankle, the reason you get pain is because you have damaged a ligament by “rolling” your foot too far in one direction. That’s why you get pain, swelling and difficulty walking. As the ligament heals, your pain gets better, the swelling goes away and you are able to walk around again as you always could.
However, when someone develops sciatica, it often isn’t because they’ve damaged anything within their back. It is entirely possible to have back pain or sciatica WITHOUT spraining a ligament, pulling a muscle or getting a trapped nerve.
And no, it’s not “all in someone’s head” when they get pain like this. We can see on fancy brain scans that their pain is very real, yet we don’t always know the cause behind it.
This kind of sciatica is notoriously difficult to shift for the layperson.
Have You Tried Everything?
If this sounds like you, you’ve probably already tried putting ice or heat on your back or leg. Maybe you tried a bit of massage which loosened it up for a bit, but then it came back?
If you have tried these things and they didn’t work, the positive side is at least you are closer to finding something that DOES work, since you have ruled out some of the things that don’t help.
Below are some of the top reasons sciatica lasts way longer than it should:
#1 – Chronic tension from tight muscles
If you develop sciatica for whatever reason, your body’s natural response is to “tighten up” the muscles in that area in order to restrict movement and allow healing.
However, sometimes the body can get “confused” and keep the muscles tight even when there’s no real underlying injury.
The very fact that the muscles feel tight, stiff and tense leads to pain in the back and leg. So people end up with sciatica and back pain from the very tactics that their body is using to protect them!
Luckily, targeted exercises and certain specific strategies (more on that later) are extremely effective at relieving this type of problem.
#2 – Hoping it will go away on its own
Most people we see who have sciatica get both good and bad days.
Can you relate to this?
On the bad days, they worry relentlessly about their back pain and sciatica – thinking it’s getting worse and wondering what they can do to help it.
And on the good days, they feel more relaxed – it feels like the problem is going away. Maybe it will just continue to get better and better until it’s gone…?
However, this rarely happens. When you are suffering from good and bad days, it’s the sign that something isn’t quite right, maybe in the way that you are moving or the fact that certain joints and muscles are “locking up”.
When you suffer from good and bad days, you’re in an ideal position to get some help, before the good days turn bad and the bad days get worse!
#3 – Doing the wrong exercises
Did you go to your GP about your sciatica, only to be given a sheet of generic exercises?
Sure, these exercises may work for a few people – but the majority need individualised, targeted exercises designed for THEIR specific problem.
It’s not your GP’s fault either; they aren’t “sciatica specialists” and they have to give those sheets out as a “first line” treatment. And they do help some people – but if you’ve given them a go and they aren’t working, you need something different.
Again, this is a good thing – because you now know exactly what exercises DON’T work for you, you’re closer to finding the right ones!
We see the same problem with people who go onto YouTube and find some sciatica relief exercises… with no way of testing whether it’s right for them or not. Unfortunately, this can be a minefield. Pick the wrong ones and you can make your problem worse.
That’s why with all my programmes, there is a way of telling exactly WHICH exercises you need to be doing – so a) you don’t make your problem worse and b) don’t waste your time doing 1000 exercises each day that have absolutely no effect on your symptoms.
#4 – Putting off making a decision
It’s human nature to put off making a decision until we absolutely have to; we all do it!
However, can you remember a time when you left something important, thinking it would be OK… and all that happened was it got worse?
This happens to a lot of people who have sciatica. They think “I’ll book that appointment when I get some time next week”. But they never get round to it, and before they know it, their problem has got much worse.
Can you relate?
If you ask any doctor or physio, we always prefer someone to come and see us sooner rather than later, when the problem is FAR easier, quicker and cheaper to fix!
#5 – Choosing pain killers over a long-term solution
Most of the people I help hate painkillers. However, it’s incredibly easy to take another painkiller and hope the problem goes away rather than take more specific action to fix it over the long-term.
The problem is, the drug companies are so good at marketing their pain pills as “sciatica cures” that people end up getting “hooked” on these painkillers.
Have you ever been told Lyrica was a “sciatica cure”?
Yeah, about that… It’s definitely NOT all it’s cracked up to be.
They end up taking the maximum allowed dose for far longer than they should. This often has incredibly harmful “silent” effects on their body and is entirely preventable.
What to do about sciatica that just won’t shift
Is it fair to conclude that if your sciatica hasn’t gone away after a few months, you’re probably NOT doing the right things to get rid of it?
Yes, it’s true… There are a certain set of behaviours that WILL cause sciatica to disappear over a period of a few weeks to months.
However, I’m NOT talking about the generic exercises your GP or physio gave you – those are archaic and outdated to say the least in 99% of cases.
Here are a couple of things you need to address to finally budge sciatica that is lasting too long:
#1 – Choosing the RIGHT exercises
You aren’t likely to find the right exercises in an NHS clinic or on YouTube. In fact, these often make people worse, not better.
You need a system that makes choosing the correct exercises easy – not just generic back stretches.
#2 – Making the right dietary choices
I’ll repeat this point until I’m blue in the face – YES diet is a huge factor in recovery from sciatica.
Eating more anti-inflammatory foods and less pro-inflammatory foods will go a long way to reducing your symptoms and KEEPING them away for good.
#3 – Knowing when to push yourself and when to ease off
This is so important – and often overlooked or poorly understood.
If you push on through pain, you are going to make sciatica worse. End of story.
Listen to your body – let your pain be your guide.
Oh, and if you’re physio lets you leave in more pain than you came in with… Those exercises ain’t right!
#4 – Knowing how to relieve the key “pressure points” where tightness and tension build up
Another lesser known but critical side of sciatica treatment; pressing on certain points can actually bring you significant relief lasting for hours, for just 2 minutes of effort.
What a huge return on time investment.
Knowing the points is the hard part – that’s where you need guidance.
How to address all 4 of these areas AT ONCE!
I designed The 7 Steps to Overcome Sciatica to be the antidote for these problems – a complete alternative to expensive private healthcare (that is at best “hit-or-miss” and at worse archaic and out-dated) and a solution for those who are fed up of trips to the doctors only to be told to “just accept it”.
The 7SOS is a step-by-step home treatment programme that you can follow at home, comprised of 7 distinct steps that I’ll guide you through every single step of the way.
These 7 stages will help you to:
- Find rapid, long-lasting pain relief in a matter of weeks.
- Regain your mobility – even if you’re struggling to move right now
- Alleviate the fear that comes with movement, lifting or twisting when ravaged by sciatica
- Keep the pain away… For good!
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, click on the link below to see how to get your copy of The 7 Steps to Overcome Sciatica…
These reasons are probably the most common reasons we hear from our clients about why their sciatica is still going on after 6 months, a year, even 5 years sometimes.
Don’t be like these people… Be more like our clients instead! Come and join us on The 7 Steps to Overcome Sciatica and experience the recovery that so many others are enjoying right now.
Remember – Making a decision to get the problem sorted starting today is the best gift you can possibly give yourself!
The 7 Steps to Overcome Sciatica has hundreds more tips, techniques and exercises for fast, effective, long-lasting sciatica relief in just 12 weeks with a proven step-by-step system.
Want to learn more about the The 7 Steps to Overcome Sciatica?
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