Chronic sciatica pain can be debilitating for those who suffer from it. If you have it, you’ve likely tried to explain your pain to friends and family. However, it can be difficult to accurately describe your pain to someone that has never felt it. Sciatica is a common condition, but it is less understood by those who are not directly affected by it. Here, we’ll go over some helpful tips when it comes to describing and explaining your pain to loved ones that aren’t familiar with it.
Be Specific and Use Examples
Simply saying your pain is intense or horrible may be accurate, but it’s not necessarily the best way to describe your pain to others. In order to help them understand fully, it can be helpful to use specific examples that they can relate to on some level.
- Sciatica symptoms can often be described with phrases like:
- Burning pain in the lower leg
- One leg feeling heavier and/or numb while walking
- Thigh or leg feeling warm
- An electric shock-like pain running from the lower back into the leg
- Pins-and-needles or numbness
Personalizing your examples to something that your audience can relate to is a great way to help them visualize your experience. The more specific you can be, the better. Especially when you are trying to explain the severity of your pain, try to find an unrelated example that they can relate to.
Discussing the Causes of Sciatica
When you’re telling a friend or family member about your chronic sciatica pain, it’s completely normal for them to want to know more about what’s causing it. In this case, it’s probably helpful to tell your loved ones that your sciatica isn’t a diagnosis, but rather a symptom of a deeper issue. This may mean a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis.
Telling your loved ones about what exactly is causing your pain can also help them understand how it affects your daily life in addition to how it feels. Telling someone you have a pinched nerve that causes pain to radiate down your leg is easier for someone to understand then just telling them your lower back and leg.
Easy Fixes and Miracle Cures
When loved ones find out you are in pain, it’s natural for them to want to help. They may want to do their own research on sciatica. They might mean well, but constantly asking you to try new ‘miracle cures’ or other quick fixes to your pain can get annoying quickly.
Chronic sciatica pain can have an emotional impact and being constantly told you’re not doing enough to fix it can be even more draining. Explaining the steps you’re taking to manage your pain can help your loved ones understand this. Mention things like medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, ergonomics, or heat/cold therapy if you’re using them. It’s a good idea to specifically mention that there is no easy fix and that you are working with your doctor to find the best solution for your pain.
Why is it Important to Describe Sciatica Pain?
Describing your chronic sciatica pain levels and how they affect you may be emotionally and physically draining, but it’s important for a few reasons. First, talking about chronic sciatica pain and how it affects your life can help ease the burden. Another important reason is that describing your symptoms in detail can help others recognize them is they develop sciatica.
Chronic sciatica pain is difficult to deal with alone and sharing your symptoms with loved ones is a good way to lessen the load. If you or a loved one is struggling with pain management, Genesis Medical Clinic is here to help.
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