How to describe your sciatic pain to family and friends

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It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been dealing with those shooting pains in your lower back, butt and legs, it’s still hard to correctly describe to your friends and family just what kind of pain you are experiencing when you have sciatica.

It’s also hard for your friends and family to know what to do to help you if they don’t know what you’re feeling.

Here are some ways you can talk about your pain and get the kind of feedback and support you need from your loved ones:

  • Use descriptions they can relate to – “Bad” and “horrible” are probably accurate, but they aren’t words that will let your loved ones know what kind of pain you’re feeling. Try phrases like the ones below that are more specific:
  • “It feels like my back is one big, giant toothache.”
  • “I feel like there is freezing water all around my legs.”
  • “It feels like I am sitting on pins and needles, literally.”
  • “My pain makes me feel so lonely that I’m like a teenager who doesn’t know anyone on the first day of school.”

If your pain doesn’t feel like any of the examples above, fret not. A lot of sciatica cases are different. You might have to come up with similar phrases to describe your pain.


  • Make your friend or family member go to the doctor with you –  If you don’t think you are able to adequately describe your symptoms and how you feel, it might be prudent to bring along your loved one to your next appointment.

There are several reasons you might want to bring your loved one with you. They include:

  • Doctors are usually much better at explaining the symptoms than you are.
  • Sometimes, friends and family need to hear it from a medical professional – i.e. a trusted source – to truly believe you and know that what you’re experiencing is real.
  • Your friends and family will know that you’re trying hard to overcome your chronic pain.

Here is perhaps the most valuable tip when it comes to bridge the communication gap between you and your loved ones when it comes to sciatica:


  • Give your friends and family the benefit of the doubt – The pain you feel is internal, which means it’s not a visible wound or something that your loved ones can see or feel for themselves. It’s frustrating at the very least when your family member doesn’t understand that you have good days and bad days, or when they tell you they have found a new treatment for your pain. Just know that they mean well, and helping them understand exactly what sciatica is and what you’re feeling will help in your road to sciatica recovery.



If you or your loved one is suffering from sciatica, call Louisiana Pain Specialists today for help.

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