Sciatica pain is a shooting pain experienced in the back of your leg, and it travels all the way to the lower back region and through the hip. The pain is not always consistent and may come and go. Unfortunately, sciatica pain takes a while to be diagnosed as there may be many medical conditions that may include such a sharp pain. There are a series of recommended tests to pin-point the exact reason for the pain and give an accurate diagnosis and subsequent treatments. A similar pain may arise due to various other reasons, and treatments may vary from one patient to another.

 

The sciatic nerve is a nerve in the human body that travels from the spine to the back of the leg. If any part of this nerve experiences swelling, compression, or any kind of irritation, it may lead to sciatica pain. A slipped disc is known to be the most common cause of sciatica pain. With a slipped disc, a lumbar disc has moved from its designated position and compresses the sciatic nerve; thereby leading to sciatica pain.

 
Chronic Sciatica
Bed rest for sciatica patients

The first and foremost suggestion for anyone suffering from sciatica pain is to take adequate bed rest and avoid any stress on the troubled nerve. Your doctor would then study your pain during a 2-3 week period to see if there is any substantial reduction in pain. Then, they wait and watch for a period that can go on for 12 weeks. If required; a surgical intervention is done when there is no other option left. During this time doctors also recommend certain exercises include a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises to help improve the flexibility of rigid muscles and may reduce pain significantly.

 
Hot and cold compresses

Hot and cold compresses are very effective in reducing sciatica pain. Depending on the comfort level of the patient, some may find relief in hot compression; whereas others find relief with cold compression. You may purchase a cold pack from any local pharmacy, or prepare one at home by wrapping up a frozen food bag with a piece of cloth and using it as a cold compress.

 
Painkillers

Pain killers can be taken if the sciatica pain is unbearable, but should not be taken for prolonged periods as they may cause other side-effects like digestion problems, ulcers, acidity etc. Paracetamol, amitriptyline, codeine, gabapentin are some of the recommended drugs for sciatica pain.

 
Epidural steroid injections

Epidural steroid injections may be recommended by your doctor to immediately relieving the pressure on the nerve thus providing instant relief from sciatica pain. Corticosteroid injections have anti-inflammatory properties and can give you substantial relief if other pain killers have not proved effective for you.

 
Pelvic balancing

Pelvic balancing plays a significant role in lowering sciatica pain, as it automatically relieves pressure from the sciatic nerve. To check if the pelvis is balanced; lie down on your back with your hands placed on the undersides of the waist where the belt is worn. Pay attention if you feel a noticeable pressure on either side; pain indicates that you need to do some exercises for pelvic balancing.

 
Surgical intervention

Surgery is the only answer if the pain is severe. Surgery is necessary only if other forms of treatment have not helped the individual, and/or the pain is getting worse. Surgery may be the best advised treatment if a slipped lumbar disc is clearly identified.


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