Psychogenic sciatica is one of the most common lower back and leg pain symptomatic expressions and is almost always misdiagnosed as stemming from a structural spinal source. Psychogenic pain is an epidemic in today’s healthcare system, but is rarely recognized for what it truly is. This is one of the many reasons why sciatica treatments fail so often and so miserably. After all, if the causation of pain is psychosomatic, then any medical or complementary therapy targeting an anatomical source can not possibly succeed. No wonder sciatica has such as bad reputation as a stubborn and treatment resistant pain syndrome!
Sciatica is defined as pain, tingling, weakness and/or numbness experienced in the lower limbs, including the buttocks, rear or side thighs, knees, rear or side calves, feet and/or toes. Sciatica may be mild or severe, acute or chronic, dull or extreme. There is certainly no such thing as a typical case, since every patient tends to experience their own form of pain. Furthermore, while some patients have predictable and regular pain patterns linked to activity or position, the majority of sufferers endure variable symptoms in variable locations not logically linked to any particular circumstances at all. All these factors make sciatica a condition which is difficult to define and diagnose for most patients.
Most sciatica is blamed on a structural source in or out of the spine. Spinal sources include herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, lumbar lordosis, spinal arthritis and spina bifida. Non-spinal causative theories include sacroiliac joint concerns and piriformis syndrome. While virtually all of these conditions are capable of producing sciatic symptoms in some patients, the greatest number of patients are truly suffering from regional ischemia as their true torturous condition. This is rarely correctly identified as the underlying source of pain, since oxygen deprivation is a purposeful process enacted by the subconscious mind.
Now, before you start thinking that this sounds far fetched, let me remind you of some facts when it comes to the mindbody process. First off, the mind and body work together to create all states of health and dysfunction. The mind is responsible for many anatomical processes we take for granted, such as regulation of breathing heart rate, digestion and chemical processes which go on 24/7 under the auspices of the autonomic system. The mind explains the effectiveness of hypnosis and placebo on the body. The mind is fully responsible for fight or flight response, the sexual response and that feeling of anxiety. All these factors are well known to us, laymen and medical professionals alike.
The reason doctors do not diagnose mindbody conditions in most cases is simple ignorance. This does not mean that they are stupid. Instead, this simply means that doctors are educated under the Cartesian model of pain, meaning that every symptom should have an anatomical root. This model has proven itself to be unenlightened, antiquated and completely incorrect when compared against modern back pain research. After all, there has been little, if any, connection determined to exist between spinal abnormalities and the incidence of sciatica. To put it simply, doctors mostly do not know how to recognize a psychosomatic syndrome when they see it, and are more inclined to blame the pain on some documentable, but purely coincidental spinal abnormality.
The point of this article is simple. It is to open your eyes to the very real possibility that your sciatica has been misdiagnosed. Ischemia is a far more logical and plausible answer to the sciatica riddle than any structural abnormality could ever be. If your pain has defied treatment time and time again, despite your best efforts, there is an excellent chance that the diagnostic theory is flawed. In this case, I strongly advise all patients to take an active role in their own care and consider looking to less obvious sources for help. Luckily, knowledge therapy is a simple and effectual solution which has cured countless patients from a plethora of mindbody disorders ranging from back pain to fibromyalgia and from carpal tunnel syndrome to stomach ulcers. The best parts of this therapy option may help to convince you to give it a try. Knowledge therapy has no cost, no risk and is proven to work. What do you have to lose?