Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief – Sciatica Treatment

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  • Sciatica is a back condition characterized by pain brought about by a strain of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is situated in the lower portion of the spine running down the buttocks, pelvic area and hind part of the legs. Among the causes of sciatica include muscle strain, disc hernia, osteoarthritis, spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis. This condition if not treated right away can get worse and bring a lot of hassles and discomfort to the patient. Thus, it is really crucial to have it addressed and know the right treatment for it.

    The duration and extent of the pain differ with each patient. It can be characterized by sporadic pain to a continuous, unbearable pain. The pain usually targets the lower back, but can get through the legs, feet and toes. Flare-ups can be from two weeks to months. And through these stages, the patient can opt for several remedies to be relieved from pain.

    Home treatments for sciatic nerve pain relief can be as simple as applying hot and cold compress on the affected area. This will ease the pain as well as reduce swelling. Ice and heat pack application can be done every 20 minutes to get the best results. Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) can alleviate the pain. NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also help reduce soreness, though it has been found to bring side effects.

    Severe conditions of sciatica can be treated by epidural steroid injection. These are injected straight to the affected area and can significantly reduce the pain and swelling. However, these injections only provide temporary relief which range from a week to one year.

    A visit to your physical therapist and chiropractor is also an option, as these people can help correct back problems and help lessen the possibilities of recurrences. In addition, therapies also help develop the muscles of the lower back making it less prone to strains.

    After trying all the treatments mentioned above and the pain still continues, especially if the pain has been there for three months already, then surgery is probably the last resort. Physicians can prescribe you one of two surgeries usually done to cure sciatica. The effectiveness of these methods can range from 75% to 95% and can completely relieve the person suffering from sciatica.

    Being informed of the possible treatments for sciatica can help you be more equipped in dealing with your condition. All you have to do is to have an open dialogue with your physician, so he/she can help you diagnose the root cause of your sciatica pain.

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  • The sciatic nerve is human body’s lengthiest nerve which starts at the spinal cord extending to the hind of the legs. A simple nuisance on the nerve brings sharp pain that spreads out through this region. Treating sciatica depends on the root cause of the condition. Thus, it is important that a patient is correctly diagnosed before undergoing any kind of treatment or procedure. Diagnosis will include physical examinations, CT scan, X-ray, electromyogram and MRI. These examinations will aid the expert in knowing the cause of the pain and help determine the type of treatment the patient should receive.

    Sciatica treatments are categorized into two: surgical and non-surgical remedies. Doctors typically advise a complete bed rest as an initial remedy for the pain, since it has been found that the pain will eventually be gone after a couple of weeks of being well-rested. However, the condition must be carefully looked upon because inability to pinpoint the root cause of sciatica can only result to recurrences. Thus, diagnosis and testing stage is really crucial before employing any type of treatment. Though simple remedies such as rest and alternately applying cold and hot compress to the area affected can work wonders in reducing the swelling, sometimes, taking oral medicines is also required. Medications such as muscle relaxants, pain killers as well as non-steroidal and steroidal can help ease not only the pain but also alleviate the inflamed area. Keep in mind though that these types of medications can only temporarily ease the pain. Remedies that provide long term effects include massages and stretch exercises which lessen the probability of muscle strains and trauma, thus, the recurrence of sciatica.

    Regular stretch workouts and keeping engaged in physical activities can also help in keeping your muscles in good condition and preventing it from being strained. Simple stretch and back exercises can help develop muscle endurance. Aerobic exercises such as swimming can also promote endorphin secretion, a neurochemical believed to be a natural pain killer.

    Below are some exercises for sciatica pain. This should be done regularly to get the best results of it. These routines also become handy as they are merely stretch exercises and can be practiced in your home without the supervision of an expert and the need for special exercise equipments.

    - Hamstring Stretch: People with sciatica can do this simple exercise to alleviate the pain. First thing to do is to lie on the floor. Then, grab your thigh, supporting it, as you lift your knee towards you. Now, extend your leg upwards with sole of the foot facing the ceiling. Hold this pose for 10-15 seconds then do the whole thing with the other leg.
    - Piriformis Stretch: This specially works if you have sciatic leg pain. First thing to do is to bend your left leg. Next, cross the right leg on the left knee then carefully pull it towards the chest. Hold this position for 5 seconds and do the exact same thing with the other leg. Repeat alternately on each leg for ten times.
    - Knees to Chest Stretch: Lie down with your back, bend both of your knees, and slowly bring your knees towards your chest. Try hard to get your knees in contact with your chest. Do this for 15 minutes daily for best results.

    Some sciatica pain is brought about by stern medical conditions such as disc hernia where mere stretches and oral medications will not work. The only remedy for this kind of sciatic pain is surgery. Experts usually advise surgery for those who does not recover from sciatic pain after 6 to 12 weeks of proper and continuous treatment. It is also for sciatica patients who seem to have weak legs as well as those who have bladder and/or bowel control issues.

    This gave you a glimpse of the possible remedies of sciatica. Keep in mind that the right treatment for this condition really depends on the root cause as well as on its severity, so the diagnosis stage is really crucial. Typically, non-surgical remedies such as oral medications and stretch exercises can help alleviate the condition, but if sciatica is on its acute stage, then surgery is required.

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