How to Alleviate Sciatic Nerve Pain
Sciatic nerve pain isn’t for the faint of heart. It can be excruciating and debilitating and can catapult to the top of your priority list until you get relief from a pain treatment clinic.
The sciatic nerve is the largest of all the nerves in the human body. It runs from the lower back all the way down each leg, branching out as it goes. It’s primarily a motor nerve with some indirect sensory connections. Because of its length and location, it’s vulnerable to irritation and injury, resulting in pain.
What are common causes of sciatic nerve pain?
Sciatica is caused when the nerve becomes irritated, or pinched. Your pain doctor in NY can assess your symptoms to determine the specific cause of your pain.
Inflammation resulting from muscle strain is one of many factors that can cause symptoms of sciatica. It’s important to consult medical experts to diagnose the correct cause of your pain because this can determine your treatment. For example, if muscle tightness is the cause, a heating pad or medication such as muscle relaxants can provide relief.
Herniated discs, pain from which is aggravated by poor posture when lifting, can also cause sciatic pain. Other causes include cancer, pregnancy related compression, scar tissue, lumbar spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. Your pain doctor in NJ can provide the diagnostic assistance you need.
Piriformis syndrome is another cause of sciatic pain. The piriformis muscle is located in the buttocks and helps to stabilize the hip joint. When this muscle goes into spasm, sciatic nerve pain can result.
What are risk factors for back pain?
Certain factors put you more at risk for sciatic pain. These are conditions or events that can potentially result in compression, irritation or injury of the sciatic nerve, including:
- Physical trauma
- Repetitive motion
- Occupations or sports that involve heavy lifting or twisting
- A lifestyle or job that is too sedentary
If you are more at risk, knowing how to alleviate sciatic nerve pain gives you a defense against this debilitating ailment.
What are serious back pain symptoms?
Sometimes symptoms indicate an urgent need to see your pain doctor if the pressure on your sciatic nerve is too great. Your goal, in addition to how to alleviate sciatic nerve pain, is to prevent damage from excessive nerve compression. These red flag symptoms include:
- Incontinence of bowels or bladder
- Altered extremity sensation
Fever is another urgent sign when accompanied by back pain because it can indicate infection, which should be treated as soon as possible.
What types of doctors treat back and joint pain?
Your pain doctor in New Jersey is a board-certified physician who, in addition to having expertise in pain management, also had the knowledge required for appropriate and effective referrals to other pain treatment experts. These include neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists. Depending on the specifics of your situation, any of these experts can recommend how to alleviate sciatic nerve pain.
What skillset should a pain doctor have?
Your pain doctor in New York has received high quality training and possesses a specific skillset geared to accurately diagnosing and effectively treating pain. This expertise includes diagnostic imaging analysis, proficiency in treatment alternatives to narcotics and surgery, as well as appropriate referral to other specialists that treat back and joint pain.
What kind of treatments are available to alleviate sciatic nerve pain?
A physical therapist can assess your pain and prescribe an exercise program that is appropriate for your particular situation. For example, stretching exercises can provide pain relief by loosening the gluteal and piriformis muscles and opening the hips. Your therapist will teach you how to alleviate sciatic nerve pain by guiding you from the starting position through to the completion of each exercise.
Treatment choice is determined by an assessment resulting in a diagnosis of your pain’s origin. If your sciatica is caused by lumbar spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spaces in your spine, treatment options include physical therapy, as well as steroids, medication, targeted drug delivery and surgery. Degenerative disc disease can also be treated with these methods, as well as with chiropractic care to relieve pain, restore mobility and reduce inflammation.
Spondylolisthesis, or a sliding vertebra resulting in a compressed nerve, is another condition that can be helped with physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and surgery. Your pain specialist may also recommend a back brace or epidural steroid injection.
A lumbar herniated disc is also known as a ruptured disc or slipped disc. This is the result of damage to the disc that causes it to bulge or break open. Ask your pain doctor about non-surgical alternatives such as anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, steroid injections, physical therapy and holistic therapies like acupuncture. If these don’t provide the relief you’re looking for, there are surgical treatments available.
Sciatica doesn’t have to impact your quality of life. Your pain doctor can effectively diagnose and determine how to alleviate sciatic nerve pain so that you can get back to living. Rather than enduring discomfort, get high quality professional help to stop sciatic nerve pain at its source.