What Is Sciatica, And How Is It Treated?

A person massaging a man’s back.

You are likely to experience sciatica pain when your sciatic nerve is injured or inflamed. Sciatica pain radiates from your lower back and down your leg. People describe sciatica as a mild ache or jolts of pain anywhere along the nerve pathway. Sometimes, it feels like a burning sensation that worsens when you sneeze or sit for too long.

Sciatica can occur due to various reasons, including:

  • Age-related spine injuries such as bone spurs and herniated discs commonly result in sciatica.
  • Obesity– being overweight may trigger sciatica, increasing stress on your spine and the sciatic nerve.
  • Diabetes– diabetes may induce nerve damagethat may lead to sciatica.

How to Treat Sciatica

Your doctor might suggest the following treatments to relieve your sciatica:

1. Medications  

Several medications can help soothe your sciatica pain, including:

  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Narcotics
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Anti-inflammatories

2. Physiotherapy

Medications may improve your acute pain. However, you’ll require additional therapies to treat your sciatica. Seeking professional physiotherapy will not only cure your pain but prevent future injuries. Your therapist might also suggest some tips to improve your flexibility. For example, correcting your posture and exercising will support your back and strengthen your muscles.

3. Surgery

Treating sciatica with surgery is reserved for when your pain progressively worsens, and no therapy helps! The compressed sciatica nerve may limit your bowel or bladder control, causing significant weakness. In this situation, a surgeon will remove a part of the herniated disc that’s compressing the nerve.

4. Steroid Injections  

A person holding an injection.

Your doctor may inject steroid medication into the affected area to treat sciatica. Steroids will suppress the inflammation, reducing pain around the irritated nerve. Unfortunately, this treatment is only temporary as the effect wears off in a few months.

Some Home Remedies to Suppress Sciatica

Self-care measures allow most individuals to find relief for sciatica. However, avoid prolonged inactivity or rest as that may worsen the symptoms. Some effective self-care treatments include:

  • Cold Packs-place a cold pack on the affected area for twenty minutes a few times throughout the day. Ice packs will numb the pain temporarily.
  • Hot Packs– apply heat to the painful area every two or three days. Use a heating pad or a lamp to relieve the nerve compression. If the pain increases, switch to cold packs alternatively.
  • Stretching– stretching may help support your lower back and soothe the compressed nerve root. Nevertheless, you must ensure not to jump, twist, or jerk while stretching as that would increase the pain. Hold a stretch for 30 seconds to help yourself relax!

The Bottom Line

Treating sciatica involves various exercises and therapies. If you’re looking for sciatica treatment in Preston, reach out to 5 Star Clinic Ltd. Our therapists use effective massage and physiotherapies to help relieve your sciatica. For more details, contact us today!

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