Sciatica is a painful condition where pain moves from the lower back to the legs through the buttocks. It occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched due to a herniated disk or by bone overgrowth. This is a condition that usually affects a single leg.
Sciatica can be a very painful condition. It can be a mild ache or severe burning pain. It can even cause numbness. Treating sciatica can help provide relief from symptoms. Thankfully, there are many treatment options available.
In this article, we have discussed the various sciatica pain treatment options with clear facts. These facts will help you understand all about the disease and its treatment.
Sciatica Treatment Facts
1) Self-care can be the first line of treatment.
If you are suffering from sciatica and the pain is not too severe, then you can try self-care. Of course, you should do it after consulting a doctor so that you don’t aggravate the condition. You can try sciatica pain treatment exercise routines and other self-care measures to get relief. If these measures don’t give you relief even after 4 to 6 weeks, at that time you need other treatment options.
Here are some of the self-care options you can try:
- You can try both cold and heat to get relief from pain. An ice pack placed on the affected area will help reduce swelling. It can also give you relief from pain. You can do this for the first few days. Then, you can shift over to heat treatment. You can use a heating pad for 15 to 20 minutes. Depending on what suits you best, you can try either of the options. Put a towel around the source of cold or heat, never apply it directly to your skin as this can cause irritation.
- If the ice/heat treatment doesn’t work, you can try medicines like ibuprofen or aspirin for pain relief. Over-the-counter medicines can help provide relief from sciatica pain. They need to be taken only when you can’t tolerate the pain. You need to be careful using pain killers since they can cause side effects if taken for a long time.
- Gentle exercise can help provide relief from pain. You can do stretches to get pain relief. Do the exercises under the guidance of an instructor or therapist. Trying out exercises on your own can worsen the situation.
Please note that you need to see a doctor immediately if:
- You develop severe pain, or
- Develop numbness in the leg, or
- Lose control of the bowels/bladders.
2) Resting can give temporary relief but cannot solve the problem.
When you are suffering from sciatica pain, you need to take sufficient rest. When the pain is not manageable, rest allows your body some time to recuperate. It is the natural way to give the body time to heal. But you must realize that rest alone cannot cure sciatica, only temporarily assuage it. The problem lies in the pinched nerve, and the rest cannot solve it.
Once you start moving around, the pain will be back. You need exercise as a treatment, and rest cannot treat this condition. Too much rest without physical activity can worsen the problem.
3) Sciatica can sometimes resolve on its own but can come back.
Some people are lucky. When they suffer from sciatica pain, they take up a few self-care measures to treat themselves. Within 4 to 6 weeks, the pain may disappear, as the pinched nerve may have worked itself out. This is definitely good news. But there is bad news awaiting.
Sciatica that resolves on its own can, and likely will, come back. Unless you fix the root cause, the symptoms of sciatica are likely to recur after some time.
4) The same treatment cannot work for everyone.
There are different sciatic nerve pain treatment options, but the same options cannot work for everyone. Each person has distinct symptoms, and it requires a distinct approach.
Do not compare your condition with others. Some may do well with oral medications, while others may require injections. Some people may have no option besides surgery to treat their condition. Any doctor will decide the treatment based on your symptoms, your body, and the cause of the problem.
While treating sciatica, our doctor will diagnose the condition first and then decide which treatment will work best for you.
5) Physical therapy can be very helpful.
Sciatic physical therapy can be very helpful as it deals with managing pain in a structured way. The therapy must not be done by yourself. A trained therapist needs to guide the therapy.
The aim of the therapy is to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve, thus stopping pain. Aerobic exercise, swimming, and even walking can help. Depending on an assessment of your health condition, the physical therapist would decide which of these options should be tried out. Therapy may need to be done in conjunction with medications depending on the patient’s condition.
Our therapist will work out a tailored sciatic pain treatment exercise plan for you that will start with gentle exercises and slowly move on to more advanced ones.
6) Surgery can be unavoidable in some cases.
If the pain is not brought under control even after many months with other options, then surgery is inevitable. Surgery also must be considered when the pain is debilitating and severely impacting normal life. In rare cases, the patient may lose control of the bowels or bladders. In such a situation, they would require immediate surgery.
Surgery can provide immediate relief for sciatica pain. It can involve removing bits of the herniated disk that are pressing on the nerve. It can also call for the roof of the spinal column (the lamina) to be removed. Moreover, you would probably need therapy after surgery to ensure proper recovery.
Now that you are aware of all the facts about treating sciatica, it will be easier for you to proceed with the treatment. You can look for a clinic that provides the best treatment for sciatica in your area but make sure to choose a clinic with experienced doctors and a good track record. Talk to the clinic and understand their approach to treating this condition. Working with the best clinic will ensure the sciatica treatment is done effectively.
You can also contact our sciatica nerve pain treatment professional. Get in touch with them today so you can get relief from the painful symptoms of sciatica and say goodbye to this health problem.