Is Sciatica Permanent? – Acute Vs. Chronic Sciatica Explained

Is Sciatic Pain Permanent

Sciatica can be described as nerve pain. It starts in the middle of the buttock or the lower back and goes down through the hip, over the knee and into the leg. It usually affects one side of the body only and It can go away within a few weeks, but it may also take a few months to heal. In some people, it becomes chronic, meaning it will never really go away. At this point, you may ask yourself – is sciatic pain permanent?

The pain may take multiple forms. Sometimes, it feels like an unusual cramp. It is more intense and can be quite painful. Other times, it brings in burning sensations. They usually feel like electrical impulses and they are also painful. Different people experience sciatica in different ways and the duration of the treatment or the pain varies widely.

Chronic sciatica is a different kettle of fish. Just like any other chronic affection, chronic sciatica will last for longer than normally. Most commonly, it will last over three months. It may also go away sooner than that, but it will be back when least expected. Just like you have probably guessed already, it is more difficult to deal with.

Is sciatica permanent?

Initially, it is not. But like many other affections, it can become permanent if it turns chronic. Overlooking this affection will lead to flareups. In the long run, it becomes permanent. Therefore, it pays off sticking to the lifestyle changes you might need to make, as they bring in multiple benefits and can prevent flareups.

Sciatica duration explained

To understand whether or not the pain is permanent, you must understand how sciatica affects you and how long it normally lasts. The pain covers the whole lower body on one side or the other. Of course, it may affect both sides too, but these cases are rare. It occurs when the nerve is compressed or pinched, so sciatica is practically a symptom of another problem.

Most affections can be acute or chronic. When acute, it means they can be treated relatively fast and symptoms will go away straight away. When chronic, it cannot really be cured. Besides, even if it is, there is a decent chance for the affection to come back. Each type of sciatica has different types of treatments for pain relief.

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Acute sciatica will usually last a week or two. The acute pains will be mild by that time, yet the condition may still be there. However, a good treatment and some lifestyle changes will completely heal it, not to mention preventing it. Even after the pain is gone, some patients may still report numbing sensations. Besides, those who experience sciatica are quite likely to get it again, unless their lifestyle changes become permanent.

Acute sciatica can turn into chronic sciatica

If overlooked, repetitive or consistently triggered by an unhealthy lifestyle, acute sciatica can turn into chronic sciatica. This is when problems become quite harsh. The pain will not be there round the clock, but it will be regular. Treatments are different to cope with because drugs and medications also have side effects. Lifestyle changes might be a bit too late to implement, but they can still help, so they are totally worth it.

Generally speaking, chronic sciatica becomes a lifelong condition. Treatments may work, but they will not be very efficient, as the affection does not respond too well. If there is one good news about it that is the fact that painful sensations are less intense than in acute sciatica. In other words, while you may still be in pain, you could still enjoy many random activities. Is sciatic pain permanent then? It usually is.

Suggested article: Acute Sciatica – Symptoms, Risk Factors, Causes and Treatment

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Techniques to overcome chronic sciatica

Hot and cold therapies might help – get a cold or hot item and keep it on the lower back. Find out yourself which option is better. Over the counter drugs could keep the pain away, but they have side reactions. Stretching and physical therapy are lifestyle changes that must be implemented. Then, some doctors also recommend epidural steroid injections. They are usually done in conjunction with X rays. Both minimally invasive and classic surgeries could be your last options.

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