If you’ve ever suffered from sciatic nerve pain, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Sciatic pain is caused by nerve compression along the spine. The sciatic nerve runs along the spine and through the pelvis, down through the buttocks, and into the legs. The pain may be excruciating and often occurs as a result of a disc rupture. Sciatic pain can also be caused when a disc is irritated and becomes inflamed or swells. The pain may also be caused by a herniated disc. A herniated disc occurs when there is fluid buildup causing the disc to bulge out of the spine. The condition may also be exacerbated by prolonged sitting.
When sciatic pain becomes severe, it can impact a person’s activities of daily living. It can be difficult for a person to walk, sit or even sleep. The pain may be felt differently by different people. Some people feel it as a tingling down the legs, while others feel it as a dull ache. The pain may also manifest itself as a burning feeling. The pain is typically caused by an irritated or pinched nerve in the lumbar spine or the lower back. When the nerve becomes inflamed, the pain can become very severe.
There are several ways to help relieve sciatic pain. Medication may be prescribed by your healthcare provider or you can try one of several home remedies or over-the-counter medications. Massage may also be helpful, but the massage therapist should be trained in working with lumbar spine injuries.
Heat and ice can sometimes help alleviate sciatic pain. Ice helps reduce the inflammation and heat can increase the blood flow to the painful area. You should alternate the cold and heat to ensure the best response from this treatment.
Prescription medications can be helpful if your sciatic pain is severe or prolonged. These types of medications may include muscle relaxants. If the pain is severe or lasts a long time, the healthcare provider may prescribe anti-depressants. Prescription medication can help block the pain or may stimulate endorphins which help with killing the pain.
Over-the-counter medications may also be effective. These include ibuprofen and aspirin. These can help with temporary pain relief or with reducing inflammation.
Stretching can also help alleviate sciatic pain. Increased flexibility is also a good preventative against sciatic pain.
Massage can be very effective in reducing or relieving sciatic pain. It is very important that the massage therapist is trained in working with back injuries or the massage could actually increase your pain.
Another technique that is often used to reduce sciatic pain is acupuncture. This technique consists of placing small needles along specific points in your body. Acupuncture can help reduce inflammation and muscle pain by improving circulation and blood flow. It may also help increase flexibility and cause the muscles to relax.
Steroid injections may also be very effective in relieving sciatic nerve pain. These injections are usually performed by a neurologist and can produce almost immediate relief.
Sciatic pain can negatively impact a person’s daily life. Getting the right treatment can help reduce the pain and get the person back to living their life.