How to Treat Sciatic Nerve Pain
Causes and Diagnosis
Many people experiencing back pain may be unaware of the specific cause of the pain. The first step in treatment is an accurate analysis of what is causing the pain. Without that proper analysis, there is little hope in benefiting from an effective treatment. The pain specialists at the Pain Treatment Clinic will take the time to determine and diagnose the source of your discomfort before providing treatment options to you and help explain to you how to treat sciatic nerve pain.
Our well-qualified physicians will confirm the diagnosis of sciatic nerve pain before moving to a variety of treatments. There are several conventional methods of diagnosis: X-ray, MRI or CT scan, or a dye injection before the CT scan. The highly skilled doctors at the Paint Treatment Clinic will guide your decisions to reveal the source of the problem.
Once you have confirmed that the pain is due to pressure on this nerve, it is beneficial to understand the origins of the issue, so you can comprehend how to treat sciatic nerve pain effectively. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that starts in your lower back and then runs down each leg. One key indicator of sciatic nerve damage is that the patient feels the pain down one side of their body and one leg, but not the other. The pain often is a result of a herniated disc that allows pressure from a section of your spine to press against the nerve, causing pain. You may also feel numbness. The question that is at the heart of the matter is what causes the disc to herniate? Although there are many risk factors, the good news is that many of the solutions are within your control.
The more weight you carry, the higher the likelihood that this poundage is putting pressure on your spine and irritating the discs. Pregnant women are also in this category because of the weight gain associated with the growing fetus.
This disease affects so many aspects of your body. One unfortunate result of battling diabetes is nerve damage.
3) Work Related Injuries
If you are employed in a job that requires heavy lifting on a regular basis, you can develop a herniated disc.
It is a documented fact that this condition occurs in people from 30 to 40 years of age. While you can do nothing about getting older, you can avoid the risk factors that you are able to control. Try to maintain a reasonable weight, get plenty of exercise and take precautions if you lift heavy items on a regular basis. Some older individuals in their 50s and 60s may be at risk if they engage in rigorous physical activity. The cause may be due to the tendency of the discs to dry out and become more brittle as you age.
5) Spinal Injury
You may have suffered an injury to your spine due to a fall, car accident or a sport-related incident. During the initial injury, hairline cracks may have started in the hard, outer layer of the disc. Over time, the gel inside the disc may be forced out and as a result press on the nerve.
Top 5 Ways on How to Treat Sciatic Nerve Pain
One encouraging fact is that with self-care, the condition will improve in several days and may completely disappear over a month or two. Depending on your routine, you may want to reduce some activities, ice the area, and take common over-the-counter pain medications. Other treatments include:
- Physical Therapy/Weight Loss
You will most likely want to prevent the condition from becoming painful again. With physical therapy, you can reduce the likelihood of recurrence. You will be able to obtain advice about proper posture, and how to lift heavy objects. By strengthening your muscles in your core, lower back and legs you can reduce the strain on your spine. Losing weight can be an effective long-time goal to reducing the pressure on your spine.
You may want to seek help from your doctor for a variety of prescription medications to relieve your pain. Anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxants, and steroids are all common medications to reduce the pain.
- Minimally Invasive Procedures and Injections
You may decide to have non-surgical treatment known as epidural injections. These injections place a steroid or anesthetic medication at the site of the pain. The intent of the procedure is to reduce the pressure on the nerve by decreasing the inflammation. The research substantiates the fact that the patient can experience relief for weeks, even months. This gives the patient time to rectify the underlying cause. The experts at the Pain Treatment Clinic have received extensive training in this procedure and are board certified as well.
- Alternative Therapies (Biofeedback/Acupuncture)
Acupuncture, biofeedback strategies, and acupressure can be useful in some circumstances to help you manage the pain. Nutritional supplements may also help, as they boost your overall healthy state.
If you are still experiencing pain after you have exhausted every other method, you may need to resort to surgery. This may also be necessary if you are experiencing numbness or a weak feeling in your legs, or having other neurologic symptoms.
How to Treat Sciatic Nerve Pain – Key Concepts
There are many choices in how to treat sciatic nerve pain. Once you and your pain doctor discover the underlying cause, you can take control of relieving the pain. Many patients are able to make lifestyle changes that, over time, reduce the pain. Often, they seek out specific medical treatments to assist them with the changes. Prescription medications and injections by your pain doctor may help improve your symptoms. An epidural injection treats the site of the pain, and allows you the pain relief needed to do physical therapy and exercise.
Why live with pain? Seek out professional help first from back pain specialists and then make your decisions once you have all of the necessary information for your best treatment options.