The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in the human body that runs from your lower back through your hips, buttocks, and down to each leg. Sciatica is pain resulting from irritation or injury to this nerve. A herniated disc is the leading cause of sciatica. Sciatica Hamilton can present as pain in your lower back, buttock, and down your leg. You may experience numbness or weakness in the lower back, buttock, leg, and feet and lose bowel or bladder control. Sciatic pain worsens with movement. Being obese, having osteoarthritis, having poor posture when lifting heavy objects, and having an injury to your spine or lower back can increase your chances of having sciatica. There are many treatments for sciatica, which include:
Heat and cold therapies
Heat and cold therapy are home treatments. Applying ice packs wrapped in a towel to the affected area helps to reduce pain and swelling. Apply them for about twenty minutes, several times a day. After several days, you can switch to a heating pad. Use the heating pad for twenty minutes at a time. If your pain persists, use the therapy that works best for you.
Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen can help reduce swelling and inflammation. Be careful if you take aspirin, as it can cause ulcers or bleeding in some patients. Painkillers like acetaminophen can help ease the pain. Your doctor can prescribe muscle relaxants like cyclobenzaprine if you are experiencing muscle spasms.
Physical therapy involves exercises that help reduce sciatica by minimizing pressure on the nerve. Your exercise program should include stretching exercises to help improve muscle flexibility and strength. Your doctor can refer you to a physical therapist to customize a stretching and aerobic exercise program.
Your doctor can inject corticosteroid, an anti-inflammatory drug, into your lower back to help relieve pain and swelling around the irritated nerve root. Spinal injections are administered under local anesthesia and ease the pain for a short period, typically up to three months. During the administration, you may experience a burning or stinging sensation.
Alternative therapies can treat and manage all types of pain. Alternative techniques that improve sciatica pain include yoga, acupuncture, and chiropractor spine manipulation. Massage can help relieve muscle spasms, and biofeedback manages pain and relieves stress.
Although rare, surgery is only essential other treatment options are ineffective; you have severe weakness in your lower extremities muscles or have a loss of bladder or bowel control. Loss of bladder or bowel control needs emergency surgery. The main aim of spinal surgery for sciatica pain is to relieve pressure on the pinched nerves and make the spine stable. There are various spinal surgeries your doctor can recommend, including:
Microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive surgery. It involves removing the fragments of a herniated disk pressing on a nerve.
Laminectomy involves removing the part of your vertebral bone, causing pressure on the sciatic nerve. Recovery time may take six weeks to three months.
Sciatica is pain resulting from irritation or damage to the sciatic nerve. It can be caused by osteoarthritis, herniated disc, or injury. Medications, physical therapy, exercises, and surgery can help treat sciatica. Schedule an appointment at Interventional Pain Management Associates for sciatica treatment to relieve your pain.