Sciatica is a painful problem that begins somewhere near your lower back. In most cases, this pain is able to shoot itself up toward the legs or even the feet. In our body, there is a nerve called the sciatic nerve that, when getting compressed or pushed by say a bone-like herniated disk, results in a pain so sharp and intense that it literally worries people. While a common issue by itself, some people also experience tingling, weakness and numbness in their back or the legs, which can last for moments to days.
There are multiple treatment options available that are both invasive and non-invasive. Here’s everything you need to know about sciatica pain treatments and its remedies:
Stretching and Exercising
Majority of the sciatica cases are treatable at home. People who are middle-aged and do not exercise at a higher risk. Visiting a physician or a trainer who can provide you with a physical routine to follow will help relieve you off of some symptoms. Exercising and stretching in certain postures has helped many treat the problem at home. About half the patients suffering from sciatica have been able to recover within 6 weeks without any invasive or surgical procedure required.
Hot and Cold Treatment
Making hot and cold packs and their application to the affected area will not only help in reduction of swollen parts and numbness but also provide relieve people of the pain associated with the disorder. This treatment is coupled with three days of bed rest, i.e., off your feet. Yes, we are asking you to stay in bed for roughly three days straight in a firm position on a good mattress. This will help straighten out the problem.
Acupuncture treatments, yoga, physical workout, massage as well as biofeedback all have proven for temporarily and sometimes, even permanently eliminating the issue. As sciatica is a disorder, it can be treated without medications or going to a doctor.
Mon-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen are quite helpful in sciatica pain treatment. They are pain relievers that shouldn’t be used as a cure but only to ward off the symptoms. Using them for extended periods of time can cause complications; thus, in such scenarios, do consult a doctor first. They don’t exactly make the problem go away as much as they help you forget about it, so we’ll include them as sciatica pain treatment plans.
What happens if the aforementioned methods have failed?
There are cases in which the physicians recommend other remedies. Surgery is almost always avoided, both by the doctors and the patients alike. However, in every sciatica case, there are about 10% of those that have to sit on the operation table. If none of the above plans has worked and the patient has been experiencing complication for over 3-4 months now or if the issue has started pressing against other organs which can cause diseases or disorders that may make you end up losing bowel controls, then in such situations, you will have to opt for surgeries.
Fret not as these surgeries are only performed by the utmost professionals having a high success rate and promising the intended outcome. Given below is all that you need to know about sciatica pain treatment that includes surgical interventions:
This is a kind of operation where the surgeon simply removes any bone that may be pressing against the nerve. As long as the bone can either be worked upon or regenerated, the removal of the pieces is avoided. However, if complications are bringing down the quality of life of the patient, then discectomy is preferred. It’s a permanent solution to this problem.
This refers to the removal of the part of the bone (lamina) that covers the part of your spine and may be causing sciatica. Any other tissue that may have been the cause of the pain may also be cut or removed completely. The whole operation is swift and gets over in less than 2-3 hours. While you are given anesthesia to prevent any pain, after-operation complications are also limited in both the cases mentioned above.
The Last Resort
The stated methods above are always preferred in the descending order. Alternative medications can include spinal manipulation. Spinal manipulation has helped patients with an acute form of sciatica but in chronic patients, the outcome has been the worst. The general outcome/prognosis is best only for acute sciatica pain treatment plans.
Be sure to contact your doctor right away if you experience any of the symptoms like severe back pain etc.