Sciatica pain can be moderate to severe and can interrupt your daily routine. Sciatica pain is pain that will follow the path of the sciatic nerve. This nerve goes down through your lower back, through your hips, butt, and down each leg. Most people will experience symptoms on only one side of the body. Sciatica is caused when the spine is narrowing, there is a bone spur or a herniated disc. These issues will compress or pinch the nerve. Inflammation will cause pain, and some people do experience numbness in their legs.
Symptoms of Sciatica
When you have sciatica, you will have pain that will radiate down your lower back into your butt and down into your leg. The leg pain will be concentrated to the back of your thigh and calf. You may experience anything from a mild ache to excruciating pain. Some people report that they feel like they have been hit by an electric shock. Sitting for long times or coughing or sneezing can make your symptoms worse.
You may feel some muscle weakness, numbness, and tingling in the affected areas. Generally, sciatica pain will resolve itself with minimal treatment within just a few weeks. People who suffer from severe sciatica may need more invasive treatment. This will all depend on the severity and length of their symptoms. Some people experience sciatica attacks that come and go.
Treatments for Sciatica
There are many treatments out there that may be a good treatment option for sciatica. Medications There are several different types of medications that can be used for sciatica.
- Muscle relaxants
- Anti-seizure medications
- Tricyclic antidepressants
These medications may help to alleviate the pain. It is important to note that each one of these medications can have severe side effects and can lead to addiction. Special care will need to be taken when using this type of medication to help alleviate your sciatica symptoms.
Your doctor may recommend that you take up some physical therapy to help improve the chances that you will not have to go through another bout of sciatica pain again. There are various stretches that can help to improve posture, improve flexibility, and strengthen the muscles in your back.
Corticosteroids may help to reduce pain by helping to get inflammation away from the nerve. The downside of this is that they wear off in a few months, and you can only receive a limited amount of steroid injections due to the risk of serious side effects. Surgery Surgery is usually used as a last resort and only when the compressed nerve is causing weakness or severe pain with no relief.
During surgery, the surgeon will remove the herniated disc or bone spur that is causing the pinched nerve. Cold and Hot Cold therapy and heat therapy can greatly help to reduce the pain of sciatica. To get relief, you will need to wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply it to the area that is painful several times a day. You can also try a hot pack or heating pad to help alleviate the pain.
Try alternating between hot and cold to see if this helps. Stretching There are various stretching exercises that can help to alleviate lower back pain and help to end nerve root compression. It is important that you not twist, jerk or bounce when you are doing stretches, as this can worsen your condition. When you do the stretch, try to hold the stretch for 30 seconds to help promote healing to the affected area.
Acupuncture is a centuries-old medical technique that has had great success in alleviating pain. This process uses very thin needles that are put into the skin at specific points along the body. When you have this done, you will want to make sure that it is done by someone who has had years of experience.
One of the best ways to help heal sciatic pain is by going to a chiropractor. A chiropractor can treat sciatica pain very easily. They will work to find out the cause of the sciatica pain and work towards alleviating the pressure on the nerve. Through a series of spinal adjustments, you should experience relief. The chiropractor can also make suggestions for lifestyle changes, stretches, exercises, and supplements that will all help you to minimize your pain and get back to your normal life.
If you suffer from sciatica and wish to alleviate the pain, please call Integrative Chiropractic today at 205-637-1363. We are here to help to you to get rid of the pain that you are in and help to ensure that it does not come back in the future.