The word “sciatica” can strike fear in people who have heard horror stories about the debilitating nerve pain that can occur. But, the truth is that, while this can be a serious condition, effective sciatica treatment can help sufferers manage the condition and eliminate the pain.
“Symptoms of sciatica could be caused by irritation of the nerves from mechanical compression from bulging/herniated discs, or bone spurs in the low back. Treatments for sciatica depend on the underlying reason for the nerve irritation,” said DISC Spine Institute, which has a great explanation and breakdown of the causes and symptoms of sciatica on their website. “Typically, anti-inflammatories, rest, and possibly injection therapy can dramatically improve sciatica.” A combination of heat and cold may also help.
Over-the-counter medications can help curb the pain of sciatica, and NSAIDs like Advil or Motrin are an especially good choice because they can help reduce inflammation.
Depending on your individual symptoms, walking and anything more strenuous may be difficult and painful at first, and may even worsen your discomfort when sciatica pain first strikes. Taking it easy and giving your body a few days to rest can help mitigate the pain. However, experts caution against doing so for too long.
It may come as a surprise to many that prolonged rest is not recommended for those who are suffering from sciatica pain. Instead, they say to cap the rest period at a couple of days and then increase your activity level with recommended exercises, which can help sciatica to heal.
“Sciatica pain may make it difficult to be active,” said WebMD. “But bed rest is not recommended as a mainstay treatment. To manage new sciatica pain, you may find that certain positions and activities are more comfortable than others.”
Heat and cold
A shock of cold in the form of an ice pack can help with the pain and inflammation when sciatica first strikes and is a good initial sciatica treatment. Experts recommend holding off on heat until the pain starts to subside. Then, experimenting with heat and cold in alternating periods after the initial cold application may bring relief.
If other non-invasive treatments do not end the pain, the next step is often one or more epidural steroid injections that are introduced into the spinal canal in a quick and easy, outpatient procedure that has proven to be an effective sciatica treatment. By injecting the steroid, along with a local anesthetic, into the area where the nerves are inflamed, patients can often achieve immediate relief.
Surgery for Sciatica
The good news is that surgery for sciatica is pretty rare. “The condition usually heals itself, given sufficient time and rest, said the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). In fact, 80 to 90 percent of “patients with sciatica get better over time without surgery, typically within several weeks.”
If you’re ready to put an end to your sciatica nerve pain, are looking for an effective sciatica treatment from an industry leader, or if you want more information about treatment options, contact DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate chronic back pain. Today’s minimally invasive procedures include outpatient treatments and easier surgical treatments with small incisions and a quicker recovery time instead of a long hospital stay.