How many kinds of treatments do I need for sciatica relief?
Sciatica is a frequent back condition affecting adults. It is distinguished by a sharp pain that begins in the lower spine and proceeds down the pelvis, buttock, and back of the leg. The pain can get so intense that it impairs movement and prevents individuals from working, caring for their homes, or simply living their lives.
According to a Harvard study, Sciatica does not refer to a specific disease or condition. A variety of symptoms may be triggered by inflammation or injury to any of the smaller nerves that connect to the sciatic nerve. Each person uniquely experiences the symptoms.
The two major kinds of treatments needed for sciatica relief
To prevent the spread of symptoms, we recommend treating sciatica as soon as possible. According to Mayoclinic, Nonsurgical and surgical treatment are the two ways of treating sciatica. Nonsurgical techniques are usually recommended initially. When the underlying reason is severe and/or increasing neurological abnormalities such as limb weakness arise, surgery may be needed.
1. Nonsurgical Treatment for Sciatica
First-line sciatica treatments often comprise a mix of the following therapies:
Physical therapy combines lifting, extending, and aerobic fitness is an essential element of practically any sciatica treatment regimen.
Both prescribed and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can be utilized to treat sciatica pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), oral steroids, and opioid analgesics are a few examples of medicines used to treat pain. These drugs are often given to relieve pain to undergo physical therapy.
Lumbar therapeutic shots may help relieve pain caused by sciatic nerve problems. It may also help improve patient mobility. Injections can also be used to determine the target nerves and diagnose the source of the discomfort. Epidural steroid injections and selective nerve root blockers are common sciatic pain treatments.
The goal of a manual (hands-on) modification, which a chiropractor usually conducts, is brain-body communication resulting in better movement with fewer spasms and inflammation. This approach may aid in treating chronic disorders like herniated discs or spinal stenosis that cause sciatic nerve discomfort.
Certain types of massage treatment, like a deep and full body massage, may provide pain relief. Massage treatment also has the following advantages:
- Enhancing blood flow, which leads to a more effective body healing process
- Relaxing tense muscles that may be leading to discomfort
- Stimulating the release of endorphins which are pain-killing hormones produced by the body
2. Surgical Treatment for Sciatica
Surgery may be the last resort for some patients suffering from sciatica if everything else fails. Discectomy and laminectomy are the major surgical procedures for sciatica.
This surgical procedure will remove whatever is compressing the sciatic nerve. The purpose is to eliminate just the part of the disk where sciatica originates. In some cases, the whole disk may need to be removed. For this procedure, you’ll be put under general anesthesia.
The lamina is a part of the round bone surrounding the spinal cord. During a laminectomy, the lamina and any tissue pushing on the sciatic nerve will be removed. You’ll also be anesthetized for this procedure.
Home care options for sciatica pain relief
According to a Harvard study, some home care options for sciatica can alleviate the pain. Even can’t locate the exact source of the discomfort, you can quickly ease your pain at home with these simple DIY remedies and hacks that work:
- Using cold packs and heating pads to relieve the pain
- Sitting may be avoided as much as possible since it puts extra strain on the lower spine and may irritate the sciatic nerve.
- Avoiding excessive bed rest as much as possible, as this might aggravate the discomfort
- When resting or sleeping on one’s side, a small, firm cushion may be placed between the knees
- When lying or sleeping on your back, place a small, firm cushion beneath your knees
- Consider trying a full body massage
If everything else fails and the pain is unbearable, we recommend consulting a doctor.
Everyday actions contributing to sciatica pain
Keeping bulky items in your back pocket
Packing objects in your pockets might be a hidden source of sciatica discomfort. Your purse or cellphone may press into your piriformis muscle. When the piriformis muscle gets inflamed, it might affect the sciatic nerve, which passes underneath this muscle.
Sitting at a desk for long periods daily might aggravate sciatica pain. Physical activity and exercise regularly can help minimize sciatica pain and make your muscles more flexible.
Here are a few ideas for adding additional physical exercise to your day:
- Think about active sitting
- Set a timer for once an hour to get up and exercise
- Take a stroll after a meal or during your lunch break
- Begin your day with some basic stretches
Carrying heavy bags on one shoulder
Swinging an oversized handbag or heavy backpack over one shoulder may appear to cause neck strain. However, in reality, this might also lead to sciatica symptoms. Bearing more weight on one side of your shoulder puts unnecessary strain on your muscles, which may lead to sciatic nerve irritation and pain.
Regularly wearing high heels
High heels may be the perfect finish to your attire, but they may also create foot problems. They might also potentially aggravate your sciatica symptoms. Because they compel you to transfer your entire body weight forward, high heels distort the standard curve of your backbone. This disturbance drives your hips forward, putting undue strain on your lower spine.
Wearing skinny pants
Skinny pants might aggravate sciatica discomfort. Wearing slim jeans (or any form of tight clothes) might also aggravate your sciatic nerve.
These aren’t the only habits or things that can cause nerve discomfort. Obesity and spinal disorders, including herniated discs, can harm your sciatic nerve.
The initial phase of resolving sciatica pain involves identifying the source of your symptoms, including your everyday habits or an inherent spine disorder.
We can also help you find relief with medicine, physical therapy, and novel therapies like epidural steroid injections. In addition, we can also assist with lifestyle modifications.
Call us today to find out which sciatica therapy is right for you. You can make an appointment online as well.