Sciatica, medically defined as a set of symptoms rather than a single disorder, is commonly characterized by pain in the lower back and buttocks. This pain can radiate down one or both legs to the thigh, calf, ankle, and foot. True sciatica occurs when pain begins to travel below the knee.
Sciatic pain frequently results when the spinal column’s nerve roots are compressed or when the pressure has caused the impingement of the spinal roots of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve systems are found in the sacral regions of the back and the lumbar spine. Sciatic pain or sciatica could be identified as sharp, dull, burning, tingly, numb, constant, or intermittent and usually affects only one side of the body. It may radiate throughout the whole length of the nerve, in certain cases, to the toes.
Sciatic pain is usually the result of a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or in exceptionally rare instances, infection or tumor. The cause of your pain determines your treatment options to relieve sciatica.
Sciatica Treatment Options
Several popular sciatica treatment options include alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, drugs, physical therapy, and surgical interventions.
Once a qualified and experienced healthcare professional has diagnosed you with sciatica symptoms, many individuals with prevalent lower back pain are prescribed bed rest to offer relief for aching bones and joints. Current research, however, has implied that bed rest alone cannot offer relief for those suffering from nerve pain due to sciatica.
Remaining active might be more beneficial for people who suffer from back pain. Not to say that you should be running marathons! Action means being mobile and active for periods that aren’t enough to cause additional pain and/or aggravate other sciatica symptoms. Your healthcare professional may recommend specific exercises, or some may suggest walking.
Sciatica Pain Relief
Pain is best treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen or codeine (in acute cases).
In some instances, a cortisone-like drug may be injected into the epidural space enclosing the spinal column. This process is similar to the epidural used during childbirth, and it’s called an epidural steroid injection. A class of this sort of treatment may offer temporary relief, but it does not address the source of the issue.
Surgery for Sciatica Symptoms
Some patients with sciatica may discover significant relief from surgery. In the case of herniated discs, a surgical procedure called a laminectomy might be performed. In this process, a percentage of the posterior arch is removed to relieve pressure on pinched nerve tissues.
In cases of spinal stenosis, the part of the bone that is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve system may be removed.
Operation is not for everyone. Nonetheless, surgery may offer considerable relief for people who have shown no sign of improvement in 4 to 6 weeks and who have had CT scans (computed tomography) or MRI that show a herniated disc or spinal stenosis.
Additional Topics: Chiropractic and Sciatica
Sciatica is a common group of symptoms reported by most people alongside back and low back pain symptoms. Sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain, is frequently the result of compression or impingement of the sciatic nerve and its nerve roots, generally from spinal misalignment or subluxation. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective alternative treatment utilized to restore the natural alignment of the spine, ultimately reducing the pressure placed against the sciatic nerve and relieving sciatica symptoms.
Complex Sciatica Syndromes
The information herein on "Treatment Options Available for Sciatica Symptoms" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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